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Deep tax breaks sought for Price Chopper plaza near Warrensburg

Price Chopper is planning to build a large supermarket off state Rte. 9 in the town of Lake George near the Warrensburg town line, and local officials have expressed fears that the Mini-Chopper store in Lake George Village, shown above, may be closed as a result — causing an inconvenience to local citizens. Monday, the Lake George Town Board and Warrensburg School board were grappling with requests from the project developers for a hefty tax break that would save them hundreds of thosuands of dollars, while burdening the school district and town a loss of tax revenue — at a time both entities are financially stressed.

Price Chopper is planning to build a large supermarket off state Rte. 9 in the town of Lake George near the Warrensburg town line, and local officials have expressed fears that the Mini-Chopper store in Lake George Village, shown above, may be closed as a result — causing an inconvenience to local citizens. Monday, the Lake George Town Board and Warrensburg School board were grappling with requests from the project developers for a hefty tax break that would save them hundreds of thosuands of dollars, while burdening the school district and town a loss of tax revenue — at a time both entities are financially stressed. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Local municipal and school officials are considering a hefty long-term tax break for a Price Chopper supermarket shopette development, and the initiative is meeting with some opposition.

The development, now in the planning stages, is to be located off Prosser Road in the town of Lake George but within the Warrensburg School District.

Price Chopper and its developers are seeking a 15-year payment in lieu of taxes that will save the project developers hundreds of thousands of dollars — while the Warrensburg school system and Lake George town government experience a loss of potential revenue.

The requested PILOT deal would also provide exemptions from sales taxes and mortgage taxes. One major stipulation sought by Price Chopper is a sales tax exemption provision amounting to about $270,000.

The deal would be enacted through the Warren-Washington Counties Industrial Development Agency, with the IDA serving as owner of record for the property during the term of the contract.

The deal would be the deepest most generous tax break granted by the area IDA to a developer in recent history.

The school and town officials didn’t hear about the proposed deal until they reviewed it at meetings held simultaneously Monday night March 11, although the project has been in the planning stage for about 18 months.

The tax break requested by developers calls for exemptions on the value of any improvements made to the property — 100 percent property tax exemption for the first five years, a 50 percent exemption for years 6 through 10, and a 25 percent exemption for the final five years.

The IDA normally grants 10-year Basic PILOT exemptions which feature a 50 percent exemption on improvements during the first five years and a 25 percent exemption in the final five years.

The Lake George Town Board discussed the concept at their monthly meeting Monday. After the session, each member said they thought the exemption as requested was too long and too deep. Board member Dan Hurley said he thought such exemptions should be limited to industrial projects that create jobs, and not for retail developments.

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