MONTGOMERY – State Senator James Skoufis (D-Cornwall) applauded the recent withdrawal of a residential payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) application submitted to the Montgomery Industrial Development Agency.
The PILOT, requested by Walden Construction Enterprise LLC earlier this year for a proposed senior living facility at 120 and 124 North Montgomery Street in Walden, would have been a highly unusual agreement for the IDA, potentially opening the floodgates to any number of tax subsidy requests from other non-commercial developers, Skoufis said.
On June 8, 2021, Senator Skoufis wrote to the IDA’s Executive Director, Conor Eckert, urging the agency to “take very serious caution and consider what the in IDA stands for.”
Skoufis said his “early and consistent opposition to this atypical request to subsidize the $14.7M project ultimately led Walden Construction to reconsider.”
The senator said he was pleased that Walden Construction and the IDA balanced the interests of business with the needs of taxpayers. “The IDA did its due diligence, and local taxpayers — including the families of Valley Central School District, who are all too familiar with the crippling impacts of corporate handouts on school budgets — can breathe a sigh of relief today.”
Walden Mayor John Ramos also urged caution and expressed his early opposition to the PILOT application.
“We could not fathom why a residential project would even be on the agenda at the Montgomery IDA,” said Ramos. “The entire Board of Trustees and many members of the public joined in opposition to this proposed PILOT.
“The senior housing project was already approved and ready to break ground when we found out that they were seeking IDA tax breaks. The Village of Walden is pleased to see that cooler heads prevailed and the request for a PILOT was withdrawn,” the mayor said.