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And more “inequality”

January 12, 2014

At the last Gardiner town board meeting, it was decided that at the upcoming 1/14/14 meeting, the board would pass a resolution against the Park Point project getting tax break PILOT status because it would negatively impact some, but not all, Gardiner citizens who live in the New Platz School District.

About Park Point, here’s info from a recent news article from the Daily Freeman:

Planners will discuss the application for 252 units of student and staff housing for the first time since a public hearing on the matter closed last month.

Park Point would stand on a 50-acre site at the southeast corner of the SUNY campus and would have 732 beds and parking for 436 vehicles. It would be built in two phases by Rochester-based developer Wilmorite.

The land for Park Point was purchased from the Moriello Family by the SUNY New Paltz Foundation’s Goshawk LLC. The organization bought 42 acres outright and plans to work with the family for use of the other 8 acres.

The Park Point plan has drawn criticism because of a proposed payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, deal that is being sought through the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency. Opponents said during a recent New Paltz school board meeting that Park Point should not receive tax breaks because it would be privately owned.

So, the town board is pretty quick to jump on this resolution that potentially affects only some residents of Gardiner.  However, many times, the last being at the November 7, 2013 town board meeting, it has been pointed out that Mohonk Preserve,  owns 8,000 acres, and pays NO TAXES at all to the town, county or school districts, since 1978 when they officially became a “preserve” having tax exempt status in NY.  The wealthy elite frequent the Mohonk Mountain House and use the preserve as an additional nature playground as well as over 150,000 visitors a year who benefit from the land.  However, Gardiner residents get about $1 each per year from the Preserve, and this is “gifted” to the town but not guaranteed, as the preserve is not obligated to give anything.  At that November 7 town meeting, it was suggested by several citizens (myself included), that the board send a letter to the Mohonk Preserve, requesting that they increase their “donation” to the town by at least double, but the board has done NOTHING since then.  Gardiner’s residents in the New Paltz and Shawangunk Valley School Districts get zero tax money from the Preserve…so where is the indignation and action on the part of the town board to address this inequality of situations?

So…apparently the concerns of some town residents over tax exemption are not as equal as concerns of some other residents concerns in the eyes of the town board.  Actions, in this case resolutions, speak louder than words.

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