Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine will make voluntary annuities in lieu of taxes to the Melcreek Township and Melcreek Township School District for the former Boricot Center property located at West 38th Street.
The agreement, approved by the Millcreek Township School Board on Monday and by Millcreek Township superintendents in December, settles their property tax exemption appeals filed in the Erie County Court of Common Pleas in 2021.
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Under the agreement, LECOM will pay the Millcreek Township School District approximately $14,000 annually for a period of three fiscal years retroactive to July 1, 2022, subject to the terms of the agreement. The amount is 35% of what the taxes would be for the property, based on its appraised value and rate of millions in the area.
Millcreek School Superintendent Mike Kubilka voted against the agreement Monday, saying the district is working toward nonprofits contributing 50% of its tax bill for tax-exempt properties.
“I don’t think 35% is a reasonable amount,” Kobilka said. “I’m glad we got a PILOT, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t agree with the amount.”
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The school board approved the agreement by a 7-1 vote. Headmaster Jason Dean was absent.
LECOM will pay the Town of Millcreek approximately $5,976 and $6,648 in the first two years of the three-year agreement backdated to January 1, 2022. The amount, again, is 35% of what taxes will be for the property, based on its assessed value and mill rate. the town.
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Township supervisors unanimously approved the agreement on December 20.
Superintendent Kim Claire said in a statement Monday that the town appreciates LECOM’s decision to provide voluntary payments to the town in lieu of taxes and values its relationship with the medical school.
“Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine brings a diverse and educated population to Millcreek,” said Claire. “He is an absolute asset to the community.”
LECOM purchased the 26-acre Porreco Center property from the University of Edinboro in Pennsylvania for $3.2 million in July 2021. The property includes four parcels, including the Red Barn classroom building, the Mary Porreco house, parking lot, soccer field and vacant land.
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Medical school officials said in a post-purchase statement that the property provides additional classrooms and outdoor space for student recreation and wellness programs.
The property was tax-exempt when it was owned by the University of Edinboro, according to Erie County property records. LECOM has applied for tax exemptions after it has purchased the parcels.
The Erie County Board of Appeals granted the waivers on November 3, 2021.
The Millcreek Township School District and the city of Millcreek Township have appealed this decision to the Erie County Court of Joint Pleas. Both agreed not to contest the property tax exempt status while the PILOT agreement remained in effect.
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The three-year agreement will automatically renew for another three years each time it expires, through 2031, unless either of the parties involved withdraws from the agreement. The property will become taxable in 2031, when the LECOM can apply again for the tax exemption.
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