Senator Kissel Votes Against Measure that Diverts PILOT Funding

May 5, 2004

State Senator John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, has voted against a proposal that would require the state to divert PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) funding from one town to another. The bill would allow municipalities to impose a property tax surcharge of up to 40% on local businesses in exchange for property tax credits for homeowners. Cities that elect to participate could receive more PILOT funding but it will come at the expense of other towns that receive PILOT. That is because the proposal does not increase funding for PILOT, instead it shifts funding already earmarked for other towns.

“In my estimation there are many things wrong with this bill,” said Sen. Kissel. “But to shortchange towns by taking from one municipality to give to another defeats the purpose of the PILOT program. The district I represent is home to a number of our state’s prisons, I cannot support a measure that threatens to take dollars directly out of these communities.”

The bill, SB 598 calls for a delay in the next reevaluation date for some municipalities and is aimed at reducing the taxes on residential property. But Senator Kissel finds the legislation counterproductive.

“If a town decides that they do not want to place a property tax surcharge on local businesses then those municipalities could be at a disadvantage because they stand to lose PILOT funding,” said Sen. Kissel. “I don’t see where this helps any community. Either you are hurting businesses by enacting the surcharge or you threaten to lose your PILOT funding.”
“Our goal should be to help towns and cities not to pit one against the other,” said Sen. Kissel. “PILOT funding is in place because towns are home to important state facilities, why the state would ever take that vital funding away from these towns is troubling. After all, these communities are doing the state an enormous favor by hosting these facilities.”