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Council Member 1st Ward C ITY OF A LBANY

35 Clare Avenue DEVELOPMENT
Albany, New York 12202
T E L E P H O N E : 5 18 -8 59 -52 19 FINANCE, TAXATION AND
F A X : 5 18 43 4 -50 81 ASSESSMENT

March 31, 2010

Hon. Neil D. Breslin

New York State Senate

Hon. Ron Canestrari

Assembly Majority Leader

Hon. John J. McEneny

New York State Assembly

Dear Sirs:

The Albany Convention Center Authority (ACCA) recently announced its intention to
purchase 37 parcels in downtown Albany. These taxable parcels are both on the site of the
proposed State convention center and adjacent to the site. In addition to these privately owned
parcels, the ACCA has already purchased the bus terminal property, which was also taxable real

The 37 parcels to be purchased by the ACCA are assessed at a combined total amount of
$9,329,800.00 and pay school taxes of $246,400.00 and city/county property taxes of
$149,090.00. The bus terminal property is assessed at $933,200.00 and pay school taxes of
$24,646.00 and city/county property taxes of $14,913.00. (Note: This information was supplied
by City Assessor Keith McDonald at my request.)

The use of public money by the ACCA to purchase privately owned taxable property and
remove that property from the tax rolls is cause for concern. One governmental entity should
not gain at the expense of the taxpayers of the city, county, and school district of Albany. In this
time of economic distress, and with all three municipal taxing jurisdictions facing huge deficits,
it is inconceivable that taxable real property be removed from the tax rolls, with public money,
without a concurrent PILOT agreement in place to keep the local taxing districts from losing
hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue.
I have two suggestions to alleviate the fiscal burden the ACCA’s purchase of privately
held taxable real property will place on the City of Albany, County of Albany, and City School
District of the City of Albany:

1. Require a PILOT agreement between the ACCA and each of the three taxing
jurisdictions adversely affected by the ACCA’s acquisition of taxable property
to yearly pay to each jurisdiction the 2010 tax levy amount over the course of
the ownership of the property by the ACCA; or
2. Increase the Public Lands Law Article 19-A payments to the City of Albany
to reflect the loss tax revenue to the City and to require PILOT agreements
between the ACCA and the County of Albany and the City School District of
the City of Albany.

I am not opposed to the ACCA purchasing the many different parcels of property and
consolidating the ownership under one entity. However, I am very concerned that the removal of
privately owned taxable property from the tax rolls with public money will have a deleterious
affect on local municipal budgets. PILOT agreements between the ACCA and the City of
Albany, County of Albany, and City School District of the City of Albany must be made a
requirement for any and all privately owned real property being removed from the tax rolls by
the ACCA.

Please investigate if there is a way to legislate a PILOT agreement requirement by

amending the Public Authorities Law that established the ACCA or through a special act.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.


Dominick Calsolaro
Common Council Member – First Ward


CC: Duncan Stewart, ACCA

Michael Breslin, County Executive
Gerald D. Jennings, Mayor
Raymond Colucciello, Superintendent of Schools