The Village of Endicott could soon be facing a major loss to its tax base. Huron Real Estate Associates is currently reassessing the value of its properties on the Huron Campus. Our Melissa Kakareka has more the controversy the reassessment is causing.
ENDICOTT, N.Y. -- Huron Real Estate Associates currently pays $2.4 million in taxes for its properties on the Huron Campus. But the company has recently filed a petition to get the value of those properties reassessed so that they would only have to pay $700,000 in taxes.
"Huron has been its overpaying its taxes for a decade. Companies like Huron, if they want to keep jobs in Broome County, have to make sure that the cost of doing business is on par with competitors and one of those things is real estate taxes," said Paul Sheppard, an attorney representing Huron Real Estate Associates.
Lawyers for Huron have been negotiating with the Town of Union for the past nine months since assessments are completed by the town. But officials in Endicott feel they should play a role in the discussion, since the majority of the properties lie in the village.
"It’s not unreasonable to ask for a reassessment. I think it’s unreasonable to ask for that degree of reassessment and to not have us involved in the discussion as well. We have been excluded," said Village Trustee and Deputy Mayor Dave Baker.
Village officials were previously informed that they would have to sign a non-disclosure agreement to sit in on the ongoing negotiations and they refused. The village is now filing a petition asking to be a part of the discussion without a nondisclosure agreement. But lawyers representing Huron say it's not their place to intervene.
"We do not think they have a right to intervene under the statutes involved, assessments are set by town assessors, not villages that gave up the right 20 years ago," said Sheppard.
Village officials say the change would have a significant impact on Endicott residents. They would have to raise property taxes at least 20 percent to offset the loss in its tax base.
"There's only so many things we can do: Raise taxes, find a revenue source, or maybe we have to look at dissolving the village," said Baker.
Leaving the village worried about a potential financial crisis.