SUN EXCLUSIVE: Avon to Feast on $250K More in Barilla Taxes

(Photo/Conrad Baker)

AVON – The Village, Town and Avon Central Schools are about to receive more tax revenue than they can chew from Barilla.

Bill Bacon, Director of the Livingston County Industrial Development Agency, told the Village Board Monday night that Barilla has reached the point in their 20-year pilot program where 100 percent of their tax expenditures will go directly to the Village, Town and school. This could mean a total tax revenue increase of $250,000 per year, which could push each of these entities over their tax caps.

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“We’ve gone to other IDA’s to ask how they handle situations like this and so far we’ve really not been able to find any concrete examples of this kind of situation,” said Bacon. “I asked around in Genesee, Ontario and Steuben Counties, and none of them had really handled anything like this. Monroe County’s tax revenue is so high that a $250,000 increase, while it would push the needle a little, would not present them with a significant problem.”

Village Mayor Thomas Freeman said that while the Village Board is contacting who they can to come up with a plan, they are turning to the IDA to help investigate their options. Village Treasurer Christine Quinlan said that she could call the NYS Comptroller’s Office for ideas.

“This is a good problem to have,” said Freeman. “Ultimately, we’re awaiting your direction as director of the IDA.”

In 2006, Livingston County spent just over $2 million to build Horseshoe Boulevard and utilities in anticipation of the Barilla pasta manufacturing plant and storage facility. Under a pilot program including some tax increment financing, Barilla spent the last 10 years paying full taxes that partially went to reimbursing the County. Now the County, according to their records, is fully reimbursed, and the Village, Town and school will receive the full amount of Barilla taxes.

“For the past 10 years, the Town, Village and school have each received about $8,000 to $10,00 from Barilla in tax revenue,” said Bacon. “This 10-year mark in the pilot program means that Avon’s municipalities and school will now enjoy the full benefit of Barilla’s taxes. It’s just going to take some work to formulate a specific plan for how to handle the windfall of revenue.”

Avon Central Schools Superintendent Aaron Johnson was not available for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Ultimately, both Bacon and Freeman said that Barilla has been a great partner to the community throughout.

“Barilla has been a fantastic partner,” said Bacon. “They’ve paid as agreed and are a great success story. Every time I’ve talked with them they say they’re thrilled to be in Avon.”

(Photo/Conrad Baker)