The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


If you're like us, it's been a long time since you took property reassessment in high school or college.

For those of you wondering: Is there a site that can answer my questions about reassessment, the answer is here. The Office of Real Property Services has a pretty good site that will meet many of your assessment and reassessment needs.

Try it for a limited time and if your not completely satisfied, return it in the self addressed stamped envelope provided.

One question we have is this: The Administration tauts commercial development and increasing the tax base. We know many of the projects mentioned do not pay property taxes. These are projects sponsored by the Industrial Development Agency. They receive a PILOT or payment in lieu of taxes.

Will properties with Pilots be reassessed so we can see the value of those properties and how much the developers are not paying. If tax reassessment is about redistribution of tax burden, exactly who is bearing more of the burden, average people or large, commercial endeavors.

Interestingly, not all commercial endeavors want Pilots. The Pilot for John Scanlon Market Block has been retired. David Bryce, who will purchase the property, does not want a Pilot.

On the other hand, the entity behind the Hoosick Street Hotel, has applied to have Pilot for Hoosick Hospitality LLC transfered to Hoosick Development Group LLC.

Industrial Development Agencies do many things but remain fairly off the radar for most citizens. We're not suggesting anything sinister, just that a reporter out there may want to do a feature story on what these entities do and how they do it.

You can find IDA info and well as their meeting minutes at the City's website. The meeting minutes can be found here.

Interesting stuff, particularly the meeting minutes. For example, at the March 19th meeting, Sondra Little said that since the IDA was required to post all it's activities on-line, Freedom of Information requests had increased. Her suggestion was to implement a FOIL "policy."

Does anyone shudder when they hear about government agencies or quasi-government agencies formulating FOIL "policies." It doesn't have to mean, but such policies usually make it more difficult for the average citizen to obtain information.

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