Express News Staff
INDIAN LAKE - The Hamilton County Industrial Development Agency approved a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with Oak Mountain LLC ski center in Speculator in September of 2012.
In February Executive Director Ann Melious informed the board there was no need for a PILOT, because the IDA still owns the property and is a non-taxable entity.
"The IDA was advised by counsel that IDA-owned property is not subject to taxation," explained Chairman Brian Towers. "The current structured transaction with Oak Mountain does not change this exemption."
Melious said she hopes this clears things up for some people who have wondered why Oak isn't paying property taxes. "When they take ownership, they will start paying taxes," she said.
The O'Briens are paying the IDA $1 a year to lease the property from Aug. 3, 2012 to Aug. 2, 2014. They are required to invest at least $150,000 in year one and at least $75,000 in year two in the ski center.
The O'Briens have also agreed to pay the IDA $50,000 for the property on Aug. 3, 2014. The O'Briens will start paying property taxes as of that date.
In other words, the O'Briens will start paying property taxes two years after taking over the operation of Oak Mountain. Most PILOT agreements increase the amount of property taxes paid to 100 percent over the course of 10 years.
In other business, the board approved hiring CPA Eileen Wiebicke, Greenfield Center, to set up Quick Books for the IDA at a cost of $800 plus travel.