The Blind Brook school district in Rye Brook said if a private company is granted a tax exemption it could cause teacher layoffs and increases in class size, according to an article in today’s Journal News by Leah Rae.
Signature Flight Support, a fixed-based operator at Westchester County Airport that offers services for private jets, said its operations amount to a “public use” on government land. It is seeking exemptions on tax bills that run up to $900,000 annually, nearly $600,000 of which goes to the school district. The exemption could result in a refund of $2.3 million from the school district – on top of $1.1 million in refunds from Westchester County and the the village of Rye Brook, according to the article.
To have something like that take place has got to result in layoffs of employees, increases in class size,” Blind Brook schools Superintendent William Stark said. “There’s no magic way of doing that sort of thing.
The district argues Signature’s operations should be taxed and that it wouldn’t be able to easily absorb the reduction in revenue.
The decision may hang on Signature’s lease with the county, in which it waived its right to seek a tax exemption. For its part, Signature is suing to secure the tax refunds. It is also challenging assessments for prior years.
To read Rae’s full story, click here.
Photo: The exterior of Signature Flight Support, which provides hangar space and services for private jets at the Westchester County Airport, is photographed Sept. 12, 2012 in White Plains. ( Tania Savayan / The Journal News )