County verifies PILOT payments

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Industrial Development Agency currently has active Payments in Lieu Of Taxes, or PILOT, agreements with six projects in the county that are mostly in industrial parks.

The 2013 PILOT report was shared by the agency at its annual meeting at the Fort Johnstown Annex.

As of Jan. 1, the IDA had active PILOT agreements with the following projects: lessee STAG, occupant Pioneer Window Corp., 200 Union Ave., Johnstown; lessee STAG, vacant property at 199 Enterprise Drive, Johnstown; lessee Crossroads Incubator Corp., vacant property at 160 Enterprise Drive; lessee Euphrates Inc., occupant Euphrates, 230 Enterprise Drive.; lessee Swany USA, occupant Swany USA, 115 Corporate Drive, Gloversville; and lessee CG Roxane, occupant CG Roxane, Old Sweet Road, town of Johnstown.

IDA Executive Director James Mraz said each year the agency monitors all PILOT agreements it has on projects to verify PILOT payments are being made per agreements.

“We completed that process,” he told his board.

New York state designates IDAs as tax exempt entities. When an IDA holds title to the real property of a project, NYS Law says all improvements on the property are exempt from all general real property taxes. However, the land that the improvements are located on remain taxable. These exemptions apply as long as the IDA holds title to the property.

The Fulton County IDA requires companies to make PILOT Agreement states even though the project is tax exempt, the company shall make certain payments to local taxing jurisdictions.

Mraz said the IDA sends a letter to each company it has a PILOT with, asking them to fill out a PILOT report. He said the IDA also sends a similar letter to all local taxing jurisdictions impacted by an IDA PILOT to compare against information received from companies.

He said the IDA is still waiting on responses from STAG and the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at