BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, NEWS EDITOR
The fate of plans to improve Boyne City’s major low-income housing remain unknown.
A public hearing supposed to take place this week regarding a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) ordinance has been postponed.
“Tonight was going to be the topic of the PILOT request which is with Parkview Apartments … and both parties have requested that that be tabled until Dec. 8,” said Boyne City Mayor Tom Neidhamer during the Tuesday Nov. 24 regular Boyne City Commission meeting.
The second reading of the ordinance, originally scheduled for Tuesday Nov. 24, addresses a request by Parkview Apartments to enter into an agreement with Boyne City which would allow the low-income housing complex to reduce its tax burden for several years in order to make improvements to the apartments.
While Boyne City is expected to be completely reimbursed under the proposed plan, some taxing entities, like Charlevoix County and Boyne City Public Schools, could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes in the deal.
In a Nov. 19, letter from Parkview Apartments’ legal counsel Joseph E. Quandt, of Kuhn Rogers law firm of Traverse City, Quandt states that he is still working with the city’s attorney Jim Murray to further discuss details of the proposed ordinance.
“Thank-you very much for the opportunity to meet with you yesterday and discuss the PILOT ordinance for Parkview Apartments,” Quandt stated. “I think we made some excellent progress in formulating a PILOT proposal that would be fair to all interested parties.”
According to Quandt, the plan is to submit a revised ordinance for consideration at the Boyne City Commission’s noontime, Tuesday Dec. 8 meeting.
According to the Boyne City Gazette’s original story on this matter, Quandt had said a PILOT agreement would benefit the city as much as his clients.
“[T]he city will achieve a greater rate of revenue under the proposed ordinance and MSA than it currently receives under ad valorem allocations and distribution,” Quandt stated in a Sept. 28 letter to Boyne City’s Civil Counsel James J. Murray. “In fact, over the proposed course of the PILOT, the city actually earns over $200,000 more (the figure is closer to $192,000) under the PILOT/MSA than it would receive from ad valorem tax allocations, even considering projected tax revenue growth through foreseeable property value increases.”
He further stated, “This additional $200,000 is the money that would repay the city for any additional expense that it would incur as part of the resolution of the impounded stormwater problem adjacent to Parkview Apartments.”
Critics of the proposed plan fear what such an agreement could cost local schools.
Boyne City Public Schools Superintendent Peter Moss said he is torn on the issue because he understands the need for affordable housing.
Moss then listed what some local tax entities would lose under the proposed agreement as presented:
Boyne schools – $24,500 annually
Char-Em ISD – $31,050
State education tax – $7,000
Over the 35-year PILOT, Moss said Boyne City Public Schools would lose nearly $850,000.