County Legislature approves Bloomberg PILOT agreement

BY MICHAEL RICONDA

NEW CITY – The Rockland County Legislature approved its share of a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Agreement for Bloomberg’s new data center in Orangeburg, upholding its end of a bargain which will bring dozens of new jobs into the county.

The county’s end of the agreement guarantees a multi-million county sales tax exemption on construction materials for the facility and a $260,000 mortgage tax exemption. It is among several tax inducements being offered to Bloomberg from the county, town, and school district.

Orangetown and its school district will serve as another source of tax credits. The incentives in the agreement will drop local and school taxes to $250,000 for the center’s first year. After that, Bloomberg’s tax burden will gradually increase until it is paying an annual tax obligation of $581,000 by 2025.

The $840 million data center spans over 131,806 square feet and is expected to provide jobs for 80 full-time employees and 250 temporary construction personnel. Rockland was chosen thanks to tax incentives with the Town of Orangetown and its strategic proximity to New York City and New Jersey.

However, Bloomberg was enticed into the deal by the town’s government and school district, which struck a PILOT agreement with the assistance of the Rockland County Industrial Development Agency in May 2013. Similar PILOT agreements have been used in the past to bring biotech and information technology services into Orangetown.

Bloomberg finalized its lease agreement with Russo Development shortly after the PILOT. The final steel beam of the complex was added in a special ceremony in June and operations are expected to begin later this year.

Bloomberg is also receiving the bulk of a ReCharge NY energy grant. In exchange for making $245,000 in capital investments, the site will receive 8,000 KW of power from the New York Power Authority.