Athens residents speak out against tax break for power plant
Nancy Kern reports at Columbia-Greene Media that dozens of Athens residents spoke out against a tax break for Athens Generating Plant, at a March 29 public hearing held by the Greene County Industrial Development Agency. The IDA wants to renew a Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOT, for the power facility located on Route 9W, but many residents disagreed. Athens resident John Cameron said, “Athens, unlike Coxsackie, does not have a lot of commercial tax brought into it, and we are being robbed of the commercial taxes which our town desperately needs." Former Athens Mayor Chris Pfister said, “Look at the businesses around here, little businesses, restaurants, mom-and-pop stores, whatever, none of them get a tax break.” Former Athens Town Supervisor Lee Palamateer said, “It is a sweetheart relationship between Athens Gen and the IDA.... The plant’s not going anywhere.” Others complained about natural gas-fired plant hastening climate change. If the tax break is approved, Athens Gen would only pay $5,250,000 from 2024-2028; $5,512,500 from 2029-2033; $5,788,125 from 2034-2038; and $6,077,531 from 2038-2043. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.