Fordian Journal December 2018

Fordian Journal December 2018
Posted on 12/07/2018
You will see in this newsletter that we are making improvements in graduation rates, offering new programs to our students, providing great extracurricular activities, and giving important life lessons to even our youngest learners.

There is also important information about tax certiorari proceedings brought by Momentive Performance Material, LLC.  

A tax certiorari is a special proceeding filed by a taxpayer, pursuant to Article 7 of the Real Property Tax Law, that enables a property owner to challenge the accuracy of a local assessor’s valuation of a parcel and any buildings on it.

What does the case entail?
MPM, LLC know more commonly as Momentive, has filed judicial proceedings in Saratoga County Supreme Court against the Towns of Waterford and Halfmoon seeking reductions of the real property assessments on its 800 acre manufacturing plant on Route 4 for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The plant, formerly operated by GE Silicones, consists of approximately 1,500,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse, distribution and support facilities and occupies twenty-four (24) tax parcels in Waterford and nine (9) tax parcels in Halfmoon.

Momentive seeks a reduction of its Waterford taxable market value from $175,000,000 to $45,000,000 for all three (3) pending tax years and wants its Halfmoon taxable market value reduced from $970,000,000 to $430,000,000.

What is the School District doing about the tax certiorari?
The Town of Waterford, Town of Halfmoon and the Waterford-Halfmoon School District are working closely together in evaluating and responding to Momentive’s claims.  To assist them in determining the merits of Momentive’s claims for reductions on its complex, Coyle, Lynch & Co. of Philadelphia, a nationally known appraisal consulting firm that specializes in large industrial and commercial properties has been retained.  The consultants have spent extensive time inspecting the facility and are expected to provide their preliminary findings to the Town and School District by the year’s end.

What happens next?
Attorneys for all parties are scheduled to present the Saratoga County Supreme Court with a status report on the cases during the month of December.  It is anticipated that, barring an out-of-court settlement, that a formal trial of the proceedings will take place sometime in 2019.

What will this mean for the taxpayer?
If Momentive is successful and the assessment is reduced or settled, the School District may be required to refund a portion of the tax payments from the start of the proceeding.  This means the school district may also suffer the loss of its assessment base in future years which could result in the losses being distributed to other taxpayers and may drive up the school tax rate.  However, this is not likely before 2020.

It is still early in the process.  WHUFSD is actively working in conjunction with the Waterford and Halfmoon town governments to defend the tax certiorari.  We wanted to be proactive by starting the process of sharing basic information about the case.  We will keep you informed with each new development.

WHUFSD December 2018 Newsletter Final.pdf