MONTGOMERY – Medline company, which wants to build a 1.3 million square foot distribution center in the Town of Montgomery, has announced it is withdrawing its application for the proposed town IDA PILOT agreement.
The company said it will continue with its plans to build its new facility to replace a smaller one in the Town of Wawayanda.
State Senator James Skoufis (D, Woodbury), who had called the IDA PILOT application corporate welfare said taxpayers “can now declare a victory.”
Skoufis said he sent Medline questions to be answered under threat of subpoena. “It is no coincidence that one day before the deadline to respond to my inquiry, Medline’s tax break application was withdrawn.”
“This investment decision will provide the tax base of the Town of Montgomery with a new stable commercial taxpayer with a track record of success,” said Town Supervisor Rod Winchell. “Both the Town of Montgomery and Valley Central School District will benefit greatly and Medline’s current employees can be assured their jobs will stay local.”
Winchell said the company plans to move ahead with the statutory incentives provided by the state, known as the 485B method, a process available to any business that expands its operations in the state.
“We’ve been a member of the local community for more than 15 years, and we are eager to continue to grow both our business and local jobs here,” said Dmitry Dukhan, vice president of Global Real Estate for Medline.
Orange County Partnership President Maureen Halahan said the company is “living up to their commitment to their employees” by committing to stay in the county.
Halahan said the PILOTs are created because New York is highly taxed. In Orange County, on average it costs $2.50 per square foot to build, whereas in Hartford, Connecticut, the rate is $1.37, in northern New Jersey it is $1.07, in Central New Jersey it is $1.03, and in Northeast Pennsylvania it is $0.66.
She said the PILOT incentive program is in place “to offset that sting of the taxes.”
Halahan said until public officials “can come up with an alternative to the high tax structure, we need these tax incentive programs in order to attract new businesses.” She said the county is “lucky” that Medline wants to stay in Orange County.
Skoufis, meanwhile, said he hopes “this victory will herald a culture change whereby taxpayers are better respected and every application for incentives is fully investigated before moving forward.”
“I have said for the past 10 years that IDA exemptions have to be subject to clear rules, which are granted only when necessary,” said County Executive Steven Neuhaus. “When I was Chester Town Supervisor, the state legislature under Senator Larkin had passed legislation at my request to stop IDA tax exemptions that didn’t have local consent. Unfortunately, Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed that legislation. We need stringent oversight and consistency when it comes to IDA exemptions, not just project by project rhetoric with inconsistent decision making.”