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Nearly $142 million tax break sought; Concord project applies to IDA

By Fritz Mayer
March 6, 2013

The destination resort project being planned for the site of the old Concord Hotel is ambitious. According to documents on the project’s website (www.eptconcordresort.com), “When complete, the EPT Concord Resort will include an 18-hole golf course, a casino resort, harness horse race track, grandstand/showroom, simulcast facility, hotels, a recreational vehicle park and an entertainment village with supporting retail stores. In addition, there will be a residential village with a mix of housing, including condos, apartments, townhouses and detached single-family homes. A multi-use trail system will connect the living units to abundant open spaces.”

The investors in the project have applied to the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) for significant tax breaks. According to application documents, tax breaks being sought for phase one of the project amount to $15 million in sales tax, $1.09 million in mortgage tax and $126.7 million in property tax.

The application also says, “For both phase one and to the extent that financial assistance programs are utilized for the overall project, payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) would be negotiated.”

On the other side of the ledger, the application projects that many jobs will be created. The application says, “Construction of the proposed project is anticipated to directly generate 6,325 person-years of employment in New York State, of which 5,674 person-years are anticipated in the Catskills region. (A person-year is the equivalent of one person working full time for a year.) ‘This economic activity would lead to the creation of additional indirect and induced jobs. Total employment… including direct, indirect, and induced jobs, is estimated to be 11,356 person-years in New York State, with 8,784 person-years of employment in the Catskills region. Total employee compensation is estimated at $1,681 million in the Catskills region.”

While many of the new employment positions will be created for local residents, the application projects that some will come from outside the area but will not have a major impact on housing. The application says, “Some small portion of the direct employment would require specialized degrees or a more advanced skillset, and could result in potential in-migration. It is expected that the potential new residents could find housing as there are 2,453 vacant housing units that are for rent or for sale in Sullivan County.”