Apr 13, 2017
NIZ And The Taxpayer
New construction is pretty easy to tax, the cost is a matter of public record, especially in the NIZ. Reilly's City Center Real Estate is allowed to harness state taxes to pay its debt service. When PA's largest tax incentive program was being hawked, J Q Public was told that the local property taxes generated would be his reward. As it turned out, Reilly's attorney found a loose end, putting less money into the local tax coffers.
The assessment on commercial buildings can be challenged based on income generated. Because Reilly charges less rent in his taxpayer subsidized buildings, his attorney has successfully challenged the assessments based on construction cost. Although there is some logic to that argument, it ignores the reality of the public subsidy, and the original rational for the program. His attorney claims that the public is still getting more than they were before the revitalization, and omits the fact that it's almost a $million less annually than expected.
Because the Allentown School District is experiencing a huge shortfall, this tax reduction for Reilly has real consequences to the public. Mayor for Life Ed Pawlowski thinks that the tax break for Reilly is fair.
photocredit: The Morning Call