The lowering of the property tax assessments of a number of parcels at TechCity doesn’t just mean a decrease in revenue for both the school district and the Town of Ulster: It also means refunding tax payments already made.
According to school officials, the KCSD will have to refund $1.73 million in TechCity’s tax payments from the years 2010-11 through 2015-16 following a ruling in April by the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court that reduced the assessments for 22 parcels at the beleaguered business center.
The district will lose an additional $547,000 in anticipated revenue this year as a result of the lowered assessments. Administrators said they’ll cover the $2.3 million from a tax certiorari reserve fund of $5 million set aside because school districts frequently face challenges from residential and commercial property owners.
While school officials mull whether to challenge the refund amount, officials in the Town of Ulster have already decided to appeal. Town Attorney Jason Kovacs said Ulster wasn’t disputing the reassessments, but rather the refund amount, which has been set at $785,000 for the years 2010-2015.
The appellate court in April said that a lower-court ruling from 2014 that ruled in the town’s favor didn’t have all the information provided by TechCity that it previously attempted to lower its assessment. As a result, the town owes around $785,000 for 22 of the property’s 26 parcels after TechCity challenged its assessment for the years 2010-12. The ruling reduced the assessment from $44 million to $30 million, which was automatically implemented through 2015.
In July, Town Supervisor James E. Quigley, III detailed a plan to shift a series of fund balance surpluses in the town to cover around $646,000 in refunds.
While the appellate decision was viewed as a win for TechCity, most of the money refunded by the KCSD and the town won’t be paid to Alan Ginsberg, the owner of the business center; Ulster County paid the town back taxes when TechCity didn’t always meet its obligations during the period covered by the settlement.