Motel owners seek tax breaks for Best Western project

By Joe Moskowitz
Proposed tax exemptions a the planned 62-room hotel on Route 28, Margaretville will be the subject of a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at noon at the Middletown Town Hall.
The Delaware County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) will conduct the hearing. The IDA is considering whether to undertake the project, which is being by proposed by Margaretville Lodging LLC.
Principals in that corporation are Carol and Peter Molnar. They are planning to raze the current Margaretville Motel and construct a 62-room hotel on the premises.
The Molnars were recently awarded a $1.3 million grant from the NYS Southern Tier Economic Development Council to help finance the project.
The Molnars are attempting enroll in the Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program. If the Delaware County Industrial Development Authority approves, the title to the property would be handed over to the IDA for a period of ten years.
The mortgage transfer tax would be waived and there would be no sales tax levied on construction supplies, or on any equipment that would be a permanently installed in the hotel.
Glenn Nealis, IDA director, said at the end of the 10-year period, the title would be sold back to the Molnars for $1.
Nealis said he supports the idea of the Best Western Hotel because he said it will provide jobs and help fill the need for more lodging in Delaware County, as well as help other area busiesses.
Nealis told the News that the IDA also supported the Molnars’ bid for PILOT program tax abatements in 2005 when the project was first proposed. At that time, there was considerable opposition expressed during a public hearing on the topic. Nealis said the delay may have been good. He said the community has changed and said he feels both public sentiment and the economy may help this time around.
Peter Molnar told the News that he is hopeful, but if his bid fails, they will find other ways to get the hotel built.
He said the PILOT program is available to any business owner in New York State who is looking to expand his or her business.
Nealis said the IDA will consider what the public has to say at the hearing before making its decision on whether to extend the tax breaks.
Nealis added that it is up to the Molnars to come up with the money to build the hotel.