In a detailed two-page letter to Ulster County’s Industrial Development Agency (UCIDA) dated September 23, Ulster County executive Pat Ryan advised the agency that he was withholding his necessary approval for a tax break for Romeo Kia to establish a showroom and service facility on a site on Route 9W in Lake Katrine. The auto dealer fired back that it was qualified for the tax exemption and would take legal action.
Ryan’s letter cited the limited circumstances under which a retail business could qualify for the IDA exemption. Two exceptions are permitted under law: if the goods aren’t otherwise available locally, or if the move would benefit a distressed area. There are presently lots of car dealers in the area, including Romeo’s on Schwenk Drive in Kingston. Ryan noted that the statistics showed that the Kingston location was in a more economically distressed area than the proposed Ulster one. Finally, Ryan noted that none of the competitive dealerships in Lake Katrine had gotten or had asked for a tax break. It would set a bad precedent if Romeo Kia got one, Ryan wrote.