While it’s 2018 and Putnam County remains without a brand name hotel, that soon could change after the county Legislature approved tax benefits for a proposed Best Western last week during its full meeting,
With the 9-0 approval from lawmakers, it gives the Industrial Development Agency the OK to sign off on a PILOT program for a 57-room hotel located along Peach Lake Road in the Town of Southeast. The project stalled under the current owner, but the new owner, Shelly Nichani, is set to take over and complete it. In order for him to purchase the property and assume the project though, he demanded IDA tax benefits, which now seem likely.
In the first year, the property would get 50 percent of its property tax bill off and for the next nine years would get five percent less each successive year off its taxes with it eventually getting down to five percent. The number of jobs created would be about 15. Over a ten- year period, the county will lose about $33,770 in taxes, the Town of Southeast will lose $34,560, and the Brewster school system will lose $327,195 and the sales tax revenue lost will be about $65,000,
Legislator Toni Addonizio said the tax breaks are justified to encourage economic growth and if the hotel isn’t built, the county would never see any tax revenue from the completed parcel at all or the 15 full time jobs. The original owner received the tax benefits in 2007, but never finished the project because of lack of funding.
“We should not let it sit vacant, we should move forward with this,” Addonizio said.
Legislator Carl Albano stressed a hotel is needed in the area where the Best Western would be constructed and Legislator Paul Jonke added there would a net gain of more than $1 million over the decade the PILOT program runs its course.
“This is nothing but a win for the taxpayers of Putnam County,” Jonke said. “And anyone that tells you otherwise is misleading you.”
In order to get the benefits from the IDA, the Brewster Board of Education, the Southeast town board, and the legislature needed to sign off on the property receiving the tax breaks.
“I think this is a terrific project for the county,” Legislator Neal Sullivan said.