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Wed., Sep. 2
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Jeff-Lewis BOCES, JCIDA to host PILOT session


Tax abatement agreements have been known to cause angst and confusion.

In an effort to improve understanding of PILOTs, or payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements, the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services and the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency are holding an informational session for school district representatives at 6 p.m. today.

Approximately 33 people representing 10 districts are planning to attend the workshop at the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES administration building, 20104 Route 3.

About six months ago, representatives from JCIDA reached out to schools and BOCES about conducting a presentation to create a better understanding of PILOTs and why they are entertained, according to JCIDA Chief Executive Officer Donald C. Alexander.

“They’re probably the most misunderstood subject since the outdoor commode,” he said jokingly. “No one knows why they’re there.”

Mr. Alexander will conduct the presentation with JCIDA Deputy CEO David J. Zembiec.

Some local school board members and superintendents planning to attend already have questions.

“We have had PILOTs in the past, and I’m interested in learning how PILOT agreements may or may not affect the tax cap,” said Sackets Harbor Superintendent Frederick C. Hall Jr. “PILOTs affect all governing boards, so I think there should be collaboration between all of them.”

Watertown City School District board members have expressed confusion about Morgan Management’s tax break for a 394-unit apartment complex off County Route 202 earlier this year and COR Development’s PILOT proposal in December. Board President Michael R. Flick said he hoped he would be able to attend the presentation.

Carthage Central School Superintendent Peter J. Turner said he and a board member are planning to attend. He has not dealt with the initial PILOT process and hopes the overview will give him a good understanding of it. “I want to learn more about it before it lands in our lap,” he said.

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