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Marketplace Mall tax request meets opposition

Henrietta, N.Y. -  Wilmorite's request for a 25-year tax agreement for Marketplace Mall is finding little support in the halls of Rush-Henrietta School District.

The districts superintendent, J. Kenneth Graham, Jr., said in a letter Wednesday, This proposal could have a substantial negative impact on our communitys taxpayers.

Wilmorite has asked the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency, or COMIDA, to grant 25 years of set property taxes.

Were not asking for a tax reduction, but tax stability, said Dennis Wilmot, Wilmorites vice president of leasing and development.

Wilmot says the tax deal is needed to renovate the 30-year-old mall and bring in 3 new businesses, one of them an anchor store that has yet to open a branch in New York State.

COMIDA is set to vote on the agreement, which is called a Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) agreement, Tuesday.

Graham, Jr. says it appears COMIDA is arbiter of winners and losers in the retail sector.

He goes on to argue if Marketplace Mall pulls business from surrounding stores and restaurants, it could lower the districts tax revenue.

The superintendent appears to have little power to prevent the deal.

Judy Seil, COMIDAs executive director, says the PILOT does not require the districts approval even though the district will receive a lions share of the tax revenue.

Still, Henriettas incoming supervisor Jack Moore is confident some compromise can be reached.

If we can work something out so all entities can be happy, I think we can work to some kind of good deal, Moore said.

Adam Chodak, 13WHAM-TV
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