Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nine PILOTs Last Year

Dr. Harold Yood was asking about Payment in Lieu of Taxes plans in the city. The list is in budget documents and was also laid out on an analysis of revenues that was handed out at a budget session last year.

First of all, click here for a New Jersey League of Municipalities overview on property taxes, including PILOTs.

The fiscal year that began on July 1, 2008 is called SFY 2009. Here is the list of PILOT revenues for that year and the changes from SFY 2008, which ended June 30, 2008:

- Presbyterian Homes, $139,879.72, a decrease of $7,120.28.
- Netherwood Gardens, $95,337.06, an increase of $5,438.06.
- Cedarbrook Apartments, $125,097.47, an increase of $31,644.47.
- Liberty Village, $63,989.06, a decrease of $29,672.94.
- Leland Gardens, $226,953.28, an increase of $18,953.28.
- Covenant House, $25,368.10, an increase of $1,569.10.
- Horizon at Plainfield, $56,641.42, an increase of $20,425.42.
- Park Madison, $428,487.30, an increase of $17,113.30.

And then there was the astonishing increase of 893.154 percent for Allen Young Apartments, which of course was the infamous $1.7 million typo. The actual SFY 2009 revenue was $184,266.20, not $1,847,266.20.

For a complete analysis, the terms of the agreements, number of units and duration of the PILOT would have to be known. For example, Horizon at Plainfield is the residential portion of the mixed use conversion of the former Tepper's building. First presented as luxury housing for active seniors, it ended up as 75 apartments for low- to moderate-income tenants.

Plainfield has tended to be lacking in fiscal analysis of such tax arrangements, which may be one reason citizens are suspicious of the proposed five-year tax abatement for the new senior center/condo project.

(FYI - Plaintalker did not attend the Third Ward Town Meeting on the proposed abatement, going instead to the Cable Television Advisory Board meeting. I expect there will be coverage by other sources on the tax break proposal.)

At present, Plainfield has no permanent chief financial officer and a brand-new finance director, representing the seventh transition in less than four years for the post. A meaningful analysis of the impact of PILOTs and other tax breaks here would most likely require either an outside consultant with high expertise or the eventual grasp of the new director on the matter.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see whether the ordinance resurfaces on Monday.

--Bernice Paglia


Blogger olddoc said...

Bernice, Thank you for digging out the PILOT info. The next logical data needed would be what would that tax revenue have been without the PILOT. What number of the PILOT programs were to initiate construction, What were those given to convert slum garden aprtments into livable town benefit units? am sure that Leland Gardens was one of them. What arrangement went to Netherwood Village? I depend on my investigative reportrs.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While the Horizon at Plainfield market study required by the state who was financing the project did not show a big enough market for more senior housing in the area (forcing them to switch to family housing) nearly 45% of the eventual building residential tenants were seniors.

10:57 AM  

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