By Ted Millar, Milton
If the town of Marlborough and Marlboro School District are sincere in their endeavor to attract future residents and business, why are they considering a “Payment in Lieu of Taxes [PILOT]” agreement with the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency [IDA] that would permit an 18-year property tax reduction to the R. L. Baxter Corporation proposing constructing housing units on land bordering Marlboro Middle School?
I agree with state senator James Skoufis in his recent statement that the Baxter company should pay its taxes like every other residential project in the Mid-Hudson Valley, adding the tax abatement will “significantly increase local costs district-wide.” He also noted, “The costs associated with municipal services are conveniently omitted from the IDA application.”
Unfortunately, we still perpetuate a tax system that funds schools through local property taxes instead of fully funded at the state and federal level. Letting developers off the hook for those taxes would exploit Marlboro/Milton residents and depress future town growth. Residents of the proposed units would not be given a pass on their taxes; the units’ developer should not be given one either.
Regardless of wealth and income, everyone needs to pay his and her fair share of taxes. Unfortunately, we have a system in the United States that favors wealth over wages with laws riddled with loopholes and carve outs for Wall St., corporations, and the ultra rich. The result of this is that the middle class is forced to shoulder most of the financial burden.