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With all sorts of tax breaks, land clearing begins for Amazon project in Schodack

Jun 25, 2019 12:34 am
Larry Rulison reports for the Albany Times Union that trees began being cleared on a 115-acre site in Schodack in Rensselaer County off Route 9 for a one-million-square-foot Amazon "fulfillment center" warehouse. Last week the project developer, Scannell Properties, completed purchase of vacant land owned by two local families for $3.1 million. Scannell still needs a building permit, so no construction can begin yet. A group of neighbors known as the Birchwood Association filed an Article 78 lawsuit against Scannell and the town planning board last July saying the project lacked a proper environmental review. That suit is currently before the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court in Albany, which won't announce a decision until October. The company is getting all sorts of tax breaks, taking money off the local and state tax rolls. The county industrial development agency is considering $13 million in state and local tax giveaways to the company, and Albany officials may offer additional state tax credits to Scannell. Rensselaer County has already given the project a cheaper property tax rate. The Amazon parcel would pay just slightly more property taxes than the Hannaford distribution center on Route 9. The Hannaford distribution center has a property tax assessment of less than half what the Amazon land will be assessed at, and Scannell will pay about a million dollars a year in property taxes. Read more about this story in the Albany Times Union.
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