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Opinion

April 3, 2013

Charge Newman Group higher taxes

It has been brought to my attention that Newman Group has made presentations about its proposed Blodgett Drive project.

As a taxpaying citizen, I am appalled that the IDA would consider giving it a PILOT or tax-abatement program.

Mr. Smetana, CPA for Newman, gave a presentation at the Oneonta Planning Commission’s January meeting. He indicated that only three full-time jobs would be created. They had all of their own contractors, builders, engineers, cabinet makers, upholsterers and needed staff.

Based upon the by-laws of what the mission statement of the IDA is supposed to do, I plead that Newman Developers not be granted any tax abatement or PILOT programs.

It has a similar facility, the Twin Rivers Community in Binghamton. Twin Rivers has 386 bedrooms. At their current rate of $775 per bedroom per semester, they generate a gross income of $2,991,500. The Broome IDA has given it a PILOT program so that this year, it will pay only $52,017.

The 2013 tentative assessment lists the value of the project at $8,200,000. If it paid its fair share, it would be $476,666. The project is located in downtown Binghamton, so the students are supporting businesses in the area. During the construction and planning stage, I am sure it generated a large number of jobs. But that is not the case here.

Its current rate of $875 on a 10-month basis generates $2,843,750 per year for the proposal.

I think if it wants its development, it can afford the taxes.

Kathryn Ridgway

Oneonta

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