April 18, 2018

LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES, SCHOOLS CASH IN ON EXPANDED RAIL TRAFFIC

Cortland – Increased traffic on the New York Susquehanna & Western Rail line through Cortland County has triggered a $139,000 windfall shared among 16 local taxing entities, including Cortland County, the city of Cortland, and the Homer and Cortland school districts. Under the terms of a longstanding Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) agreement between the railroad and the Cortland County Industrial Development Agency, payouts are required when rail traffic exceeds 7,000 cars. That threshold was crossed for the first time in 2016 and again in 2017, largely due to the continued strong growth of Suit-Kote Corporation, a major asphalt product manufacturer that uses the rail line for transporting raw materials to its Polkville operations. Suit-Kote is the NYS&W’s top customer. The IDA and the railroad agreed to specific payment amounts pro-rated for the recipients based upon rail line usage and the length of the line through the county, said IDA president and CEO Garry L. VanGorder. “It’s a bit of found money, which I know will be appreciated, but just as important it sends a strong message that the rail line is essential to our ability to grow the local economy,” VanGorder said. “It also says a lot about Suit-Kote’s role in that economy.” Cortland County will receive nearly $32,000, with the city collecting more than $13,000. The Homer and Cortland school districts will receive about $18,500 and $19,400, respectively. Any future payments under the PILOT will also be driven by railcar counts, VanGorder said.

Taxing Jurisdiction                     2016               2017                      Check Total
Cortland County                       $ 8,344.57       $ 23,351.44            $ 31,696.01
Town of Marathon                     $ 484.40          $ 1,355.56               $ 1,839.96
Town of Lapeer                        $ 258.65          $ 723.80                   $ 982.45
Town of Cortlandville                $ 519.06          $ 1,452.53                $ 1,971.59
Town of Virgil                           $ 1,011.85         $ 2,831.56               $ 3,843.41
City of Cortland                       $ 3 ,626.35        $ 10,147.97             $ 13,774.32
Town of Homer                        $ 461.98            $ 1,292.81               $ 1,754.79
Town of Preble                        $ 634.55            $ 1,775.73               $ 2,410.28
Village of Marathon                 $ 508.54            $ 1,423.11               $ 1,931.65
Village of Homer                      $ 317.50            $ 888.48                 $ 1,205.98
Marathon School District         $ 4,483.09         $ 12,545.46             $ 17,028.55
Homer School District              $ 4,869.10         $ 13,625.69             $ 18,494.79
City of Cortland Schools         $ 5,113.16          $ 14,308.66             $ 19,421.82
Tully School District                 $ 987.65            $ 2,763.85               $ 3,751.50
McGraw School District           $ 4,946.53         $ 13,842.36             $ 18,788.89
TOTAL                                    $ 36,566.98       $ 102,329.01            $ 138,895.99