Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

April 18, 2014

PILOT revenues increasing in town

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Local municipalities are seeing an increase in revenue from Lockport Industrial Development Agency-approved payments in lieu of taxes, according to a report the board of directors received Thursday.

It’s the third straight year in which PILOTs have brought in more cash for Niagara County and the Lockport, Royalton-Hartland and Starpoint school districts, said Thomas A. Sy, chairman of the LIDA Board of Directors. The Town of Lockport does not have a general property tax.

There are currently 18 projects that are making payments in lieu of taxes based on agreements with LIDA, said the agency’s Executive Director David R. Kinyon.

The PILOT payment information was part of an overall report presented Thursday to the LIDA board by the agency’s audit committee. The committee shared the results of an audit completed by Lumsden & McCormick that didn’t come with any major findings.

According to the report, Niagara County saw an increase in county tax collection, from $17,842 in 2012 to $35,606 in 2013. In 2011, LIDA projects generated $10,230 in PILOT payments.

Local school districts saw PILOT revenue increase from $106,932 in 2012-13 to $160,775 in 2013-14. PILOT revenue in 2011-12 was $51,403.

“The IDA and the taxing jurisdictions are receiving some pretty good returns,” Kinyon said.

LIDA is predicting continuing increases in PILOT payments to local taxing jurisdictions, Sy said. During 2013, the PILOT agreements with three businesses expired, meaning that those businesses will pay full property taxes going forward.

The agreements are with Emerson & Renwick, Inc. and Custom Laser. Custom Laser actually had two separate deals involving buildings at 4903 and 4907 IDA Park Drive.

“And all three projects, prior to construction, were on vacant land generating minimal taxes,” Kinyon said.

As a whole, the 18 LIDA-supported projects represent an investment of over $240.5 million and account for 601 full-time equivalent jobs in the town, the agency said.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241, or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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