BY DAN SABBATINO
Town of Mata Supervisor Paul Sausville looked into his crystal ball and predicted uncertainty involving the fate of the Luther Forest Technology Campus and inhabitant GLOBALFOUNDRIES, he said in a Tuesday, Jan. 11, interview.
He said the balancing act between New York state, Saratoga County and the technology park must be balanced to get the infrastructure projects completed and jobs to the area.
“There are some huge, outstanding issues,” Sausville said of the financial future of the park. “What is the business plan?”
He said the future ownership of the park, which is uncertain right now, could lead to confusion about how taxes are regulated and which entity is responsible for handing out and managing incentives.
Sausville also said he is concerned housing developments in the area are overestimating the demand associate with the primary and secondary job creation from GLOBALFOUNDRIES operation. He said estimates of the workforce likely to move into the area as a result of the chip fab is 25 to 30 to percent, with most of the potential workers already being located here. New residents, though, is not what Sausville said the area needs.
“It’s jobs that we need, not more people,” Sausville said.
The potential for what is now expected to be 1650 jobs directly related to GLOBALFOUNDRIES is nothing to brush off, though, and he said in a perfect world, with all the municipalities and entities working together, a lot of good can come from the site.
Sausville touched upon another topic likely to take months to hash out, the property tax assessment GLOBALFOUNDRIES is challenging.
Sausville defended the $160 million assessment of the property, and he said by the time the property is complete the entire operation could be valued at $800,000 million.
GLOBALFOUNDRIES representatives disagree and are asking the assessment be reduced by two-thirds.
Ballston Spa Central School District Superintendent Joseph Dragone said the school is an active stakeholder in the assessment challenge, and is only asking for an equitable process going forward.
The property valued at $160 million could stand to generate nearly $2.2 million in tax revenue for the school district, according to information provided by Sausville. At $800,000 million, the district could receive almost $11 million in property taxes. The Stllwater Central School District could receive $3.3 million as a well, as it receives some property taxes from the site.
Saratoga County, the Town of Stillwater and the Town of Malta also stand to get a chuck of the property tax bill.