IDA committee approves tax break for existing Athens power plant
Nancy Kern reports for Columbia Greene Media that Greene County's Economic Development and Tourism Committee voted recently for the renewal of a 20-year tax break for Athens Generating. The Payment in Lieu of Taxes plan means the power plant will pay millions less in taxes. Everyone on the committee, including Catskill's Michael Bulich and Durham's Patty Handel voted for the tax break except Athens legislator Ed Bloomer, who voted against the plan. Bloomer said, “I listened intently for people arguing for both sides in all of those cases. These are people who I respect and I acknowledge as being far more learned and wise than I. My takeaway from that is my suspicion that if the PILOT goes forward it would be a positive benefit for all parties. However, I’ve uncovered a significant volume of the people of Athens who are disagreeing with that, even though I personally think that it’s the best way to go. As their legislator, I feel I am bound to honor their concerns. With that I have to maintain a reluctant no.” A March 20 Athens public meeting about the proposal featured mostly those against the tax break for the natural gas power plant. Read the full story at HudsonValley360.com.