By Rebecca Martin
The Niagara Bottling Co. project is looking to come to the area taking advantage of the ‘Start-Up NY” initiative (‘Start-Up NY’ helps you start, expand or relocate your qualified business to a tax-free zone in NY State’)
In simple terms, that means that if they were to ever come to Tech City in the Town of Ulster, their taxes would be abated for 10 YEARS. Does that include school tax too?
For if it does, guess which School District Tech City is in, where this proposed project would be built?
The Kingston City School District (see “Existing Community Services C.4 on the attached form).
Our City officials at this time appear to not be familiar with Start-Up NY and how the tax abatements work. From what we can tell right now, taxes abated under Start-Up NY is a State Decision. It would not be a PILOT involving the IDA. We will continue to check that to find evidence to back up what many believe to be the case.
READ the Governer’s Program Bill from 2013.
“100% tax-free (e.g. including no income tax for employees, no sales, property or business tax).
8 thoughts on “Niagara Bottling Company Proposal. Could Tax Abatement For 10 Years Impact Kingston City School District?”
Of course they will take all they can and not pay a dime, that is the way it works. You don’t think they would do it the old fashioned way and pay their full share .
Just to clarify, we do know how tax abatements work in the City of Kingston, we just won’t know the specific details at this early stage of this project. Also, StartUp NY is a new program and everyone is seeking to know more about how it works. Both StartUp NY and a PILOT request are separate applications to two separate agencies and part of a process going forward with no determination about approval or the terms at this early stage. What I was told is that property tax (thus school tax) is not part of the equation for a project like this (sales and state income tax are in play). Having said this, a proposal would be likely to the Ulster County IDA for a PILOT, if the firm so chooses, which would be abatement on property tax. Finally, the center of action is going to be Town of Ulster where this project is sited and where most of the impacts are so it really does not lie at the feet of the City of Kingston Common Council or the Mayor. We are interested parties, just not in a position to lead the process. It is in Town of Ulster’s purview to do so.
To clarify, the post questions whether City Officials understand tax abatements in-so-far as to how it applies to Start-Up NY and not in general. Since Kingston City School tax may be involved here, it makes sense for the question to be raised and that our elected officials understand clearly the impacts so to communicate them with clarity.
I would add to Gregg Swanzey’s comment and say that “most of the impacts” of this project might not be in the Town of Ulster. The City of Kingston is also directly affected by the water withdrawal. Perhaps the greatest impact is not local. More than 10 million plastic water bottles would be created and shipped all across the country each day when the factory is at peak production. An overwhelming majority of these are foredoomed to enter the waste stream. Each year just under 4 billion bottles would be created. Arguably, this may be the largest impact of the project, and I do not see it addressed at all in the Environmental Assessment Form. It would be truly a sad thing if there is no place for this impact to be considered, simply because the bottles are considered as “product” rather than the waste they will surely become in the matter of a few weeks.
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We know for sure that it would impact School Tax by way of a PILOT from the Industrial Development Agency. It is not clear why property/school tax would be outside the scope of abatements offered through Start-Up NY. Here is the Audio from yesterday’s IDA meeting when ToU Supervisor James Quigley requested their approval for the ToU Town Board being Lead Agency – acknowledging the future PILOT potential for Niagara.
We are always in need of extra hands – so feel free to visit that ‘Citizen Committee’ page to see if there is something for you.