Tax Certiorari Case; MPM Silicones

Title:  MPM Silicones, LLC (Momentive) Tax Certiorari Case is Settled

The Waterford-Halfmoon UFSD in collaboration with the Towns of Waterford and Halfmoon were able to resolve the tax certiorari case filed by MPM Silicones, LLC which was first brought against the towns in an effort to reduce the property assessment for all of the MPM properties and therefore reduce their tax liability and also recover any back taxes owed to their company.  Although the Waterford-Halfmoon School District does not have the authority to raise or lower property assessments, the District partnered with the two Towns to fight this tax certiorari since it would have a significant impact on the school district and its taxpayers.   

In August of 2020, the two Towns, the school district, and MPM Silicones, LLC reached an agreement on the tax certiorari case.  This settlement resulted in a significant loss of assessed value for the Town of Waterford and the School District. As the District's financial needs were not lessened, and the tax levy did not change, the tax levy had to be distributed among the smaller remaining tax base in the District. This caused the tax rates and total tax bills to rise. The District was also responsible for paying a refund of back taxes owed to MPM for the years of 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.  Fortunately, over the years the District did set aside funding in a Tax Certiorari Reserve to help offset the impact of such a large settlement. This Reserve allowed us to avoid having to pass on the additional financial burden of paying for back taxes to the taxpayers. It should be noted that the District did not receive any additional monies due to the increase in tax bills. The increased amounts went to cover Momentive's share of the tax levy that was significantly reduced.

In perspective of the entire tax certiorari case, MPM was seeking to reduce its taxable market value of the entire Waterford and Halfmoon properties from $216 million to $66 million. This would have resulted in a tax rate increase of over 30%, which would have been devastating to our taxpayers. In addition to this reduction in their taxable assessment, MPM was also seeking payment of back taxes based on their request of a $66 million taxable assessment from 2016 - 2019. This would have required a back tax payment of over $9 million dollars.  The actual settlement brought the District’s back tax payment down to $3.5 million which was much closer to the amount in the District’s Tax Certiorari Reserve fund mentioned earlier. Although the settlement has a big impact on our taxpayers, there was the potential for a much larger negative impact on the community and we are confident this was settled in the best interest of our tax payers

For further information, please see the attached presentation.