Created: 05/02/2014 8:05 PM WHEC.com
No more tax breaks for the owner of the Medley Centre is the message from Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks to mall owner Scott Congel. Congel missed a $3.8 million payment that was due Thursday. For the county, that was the last straw.
Monroe County, the town of Irondequoit and the East Irondequoit School District are taking a united stance. Lawyers for all the groups involved, including the mall owner’s, got together Friday to write a letter. It explains Bersin Properties will now have to pay property tax on the space. They still owe the town about $3.5 million. The money is late and missed payments that have built up in the last five years.
Now the county is taking legal action to get that money back. Thursday night was the deadline for Bersin Properties to pay up and be able to keep the tax breaks worked out in the PILOT agreement. With that deadline missed, the town, county and school district say they are canceling the deal because that's what is fair to the taxpayers in Irondequoit.
Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks said, “No one ever wants to engage in a legal battle because there is a cost to that. But I think the bigger picture is what is owed to the taxpayers under the PILOT agreement. They deserve to get that money, it was agreed upon, it was part of a contract, it was a binding contract, in our opinion, and that's really what this is about, making sure the taxpayers get what they expect from their investment in the Medley Centre property.
Bersin Properties responded to the litigation. Scott Congel released a statement saying, " We believe the lawsuit threatened by the taxing jurisdictions not only will fail to produce the results they desire, but it is not legally supportable."
This is a big step for the county, town and school district to make, but people say they are happy to see someone finally holding the developer accountable.