Assemblyman Jones: State budget looks out for North Country communities and taxpayers

March 31, 2018

“Here in the North Country, local governments already have tight budgets, and the governor’s proposal would have put vital funds at risk. That’s why I fought to make sure the 2018-19 state budget rejected the proposal to shift to payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) for the state’s property tax payments for Forest Preserve lands. Currently, state land in the Adirondacks is assessed in the same way private lands are, requiring the state to pay taxes to North Country communities. These taxes provide critical revenue that localities depend on for services benefiting residents and tourists.

“A shift to PILOTs would have overburdened taxpayers, who would have had to make up for the money lost by municipalities and counties. It would have also left local governments with less leverage to negotiate with the state in the future. By continuing to assess Forest Preserve lands in the same manner as private lands, we’re protecting this vital revenue source for the North Country so our neighborhoods can grow rather than wither.”