June 11, 2012
As the search for tax money rages on, we have seen the City Council ignore the obvious sources of cost reduction, excess benefits (vacations, sick days, personal days, holidays) and retiree health care costs for those eligible for Medicare. They have kicked the can down the road until next year.
There is another big hole in the money bucket and that is the PILOT program. I have attached the October 31, 2011 introductory letter to the 2011 In-Lieu Properties Report. There are some interesting points in his letter.
- 35 in-lieu properties are listed as delinquent taxpayers for a total of $933,646.18 as of 10/31/2011.
- Total tax exemptions stand at approximately $50 million for the year.
- Contracts listed as “end of loan” remain current through the duration of the loan. How much the loans total is not listed.
- The Trustee found 42 properties linked to a PILOT contract for the Health and Ed Board that were not included in the Assessor’s list.
- From the Assessor’s file for IDB parcels, there are 20 parcels for which the trustee does not have a PILOT contract for Arlington, Collierville and Millington. The Trustee also found 10 additional exempt parcels linked to a PILOT contract that were not included in the Assessor’s list.
- The Trustee is still in need of a detailed personal property database from the IDB Board.
These items need to be corrected. However what is really needed is the following.
- A report needs to be published each year on those who have completed their PILOT period showing the amount of taxes previously paid under the PILOT and the amount that they are now paying.
- A report needs to be published each year showing the amount of the loans under the PILOT program and the progress towards repayment of the loans and the expected expiration date.
- Each and every PILOT contract needs to be published online in a database so that the public can see the terms and conditions of the contract.
This information would provide the taxpaying public with some needed information as to the effectiveness and worth of the PILOT program.