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Walmart gets tax break in Queensbury

Walmart gets tax break in Queensbury

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Walmart

The Queensbury Town Board agreed to reduce the property assessment of the Walmart on Route 9.

QUEENSBURY — The Town Board accepted a settlement with Walmart that would lower the retailer’s property assessment by $2.45 million.

The school board will vote Monday.

The settlement resolves tax appeals that Walmart has filed for the past three years. Walmart agreed to drop those, without any refund, in exchange for a reduced assessment beginning now.

The store on Route 9 had an assessment of $14.3 million. It will be reduced to $11.85 million.

That will save the store about $40,000 in school taxes, $10,000 in county taxes and $1,300 in town taxes.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Scott Whittemore said the deal was fair and that the district appreciated not having to refund part of the last three years of taxes.

“We think it’s a fair settlement,” he said, before adding that the school district’s tax refund fund doesn’t have as much money as it should have in it.

He’s also happy that the settlement includes an agreement to keep the assessment at the agreed-upon level through at least 2023.

“One thing that’s beneficial is that it carries forward for the foreseeable future,” he said. “When you’re in uncertain economic times, to have a big box retailer have their assessment locked in through 2023 was important to us.”

He acknowledged that it means more of the school’s taxes will have to be shouldered by residents.

“Obviously, it changes the apportionment of how the tax levy is spread,” he said. “When we do these settlements, we’re considerate of the burden on the local taxpayer. It’s a tough balance to strike.”

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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