ALBANY: Worried about the tax base? Concerned that the City will lose money if we don’t get a hotel in the Pine Bush?
Don’t worry, the hotel is eligible for a property tax deduction!!! 485b is a state tax incentive program — a program that promotes sprawl. To be eligible, any business “involved in the production of goods or services’’ that spends at least $10,000 on new construction or real estate improvements is eligible for reduced taxes on the increased property assessment from those improvements. Under Albany’s program, an owner pays taxes on 50 percent of the additional assessment the first year, and gradually increases until the full amount of taxes is paid after the fifth year.
Most developments constructed in the Pine Bush in the City of Albany received this tax incentive program. If the City had created a plan for the tax incentive program, this plan could have designated certain areas (such as downtown, where construction is needed) where the tax incentive would be given. But, no plan was ever written.
The developers of the proposed hotel are not saying whether or not they will apply for the tax incentive program. If the Common Council approves this project, not only will the hotel destroy occupied Karner Blue habitat, but, we, the taxpayers of the City of Albany, may very well subsidize the hotel with tax deductions!!!!
Published in the Nov/Dec 2008 Newletter