GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus used his power as chief executive officer to oppose a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement that the county Industrial Development Agency approved on Monday for the Barton Burks General Motors dealership to build a separate facility for its Cadillac brand at the Newburgh Auto Park in the Town of Newburgh.
The IDA said the project qualifies because it would attract visitors from outside the area and is a unique facility.
But, the county executive said it sets an “unfair precedent” and was rejected twice by the Town of Newburgh.
“Without the local support it is very difficult for me to jump on board for something like this and on top of that, I know for a fact that at least two car dealerships are looking to come into Orange County in the next year and if you have this now policy on the books that you are going to give tax incentives to car dealerships, these companies are going to be asking for them as well,” Neuhaus said.
Wallkill Town Supervisor Daniel Depew, who is also chairman of his town’s Industrial Development Agency, said granting tax benefits to the Newburgh dealership “bothers me greatly.”
Depew noted Wallkill has “wonderful car dealerships in and around our town which not only pay their full assessed value of property taxes, but also voluntarily contribute to the community well above and beyond most businesses.”
In a letter to Neuhaus, Depew said PILOTs “should not be used to help retail establishments compete with those neighboring retail establishments that are willing and indeed pay their fair share of taxes.”