ALBANY, N.Y. – New York State Assembly members continue to push for the Harriman State Office Campus PILOT after it was not included in the state budget.
The PILOT could add $11.5 million to the city of Albany’s revenue helping to decrease the $16 million deficit.
“I think there’s always concerns from the state’s perspective about setting precedents, and I get that, and I understand that,” Assemblyman John McDonald said. “But it’s one thing about precedent setting, and it’s another thing about fairness.”
McDonald said Albany residents have been focused on seeing the Harriman Campus privatized, so it can go on the tax roll, generate revenue, and take the burden off the taxpayers. Assembly member Patricia Fahy has been working with McDonald. She believes the state cannot continue to go down the public road.
“We already have 57 percent of our property is off the tax rolls, and 80 percent of our commercial property in the city of Albany is tax exempt,” she said.
The state said in a statement, “The city has asked the State Financial Restructuring Board to take a look at its books, and before that process is complete, it would be premature to entertain other ideas until the plan is completed.”
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said she could internally eliminate $4 million from the city’s deficit.
“What I’m trying to avoid are those types of Draconian cuts that not only hurt our employees – and it really does impact the lives of working people – but it also hurts our residents and it hurts the image of the city from the standpoint of how the city looks and the services that we’re able to provide,” she said.
The city of Albany is still waiting on the recommendations of the Restructuring Board. The recommendations are not due until August 26.