Griffiss Park generated $4 million this year in taxes, city payments

By DAN GUZEWICH Staff writer

The former Griffiss Air Force Base generated more than $4 million this year in payments to local governments as a business park.

“Fifteen years ago, the community was concerned the closure of Griffiss Air Force Base would lead to blight,” said Steven J. DiMeo, president of Mohawk Valley EDGE. “Today Griffiss Business and Technology Park stands as a success for the region and a revenue stream to local government.”

According to Griffiss Local Development Corp., which has overseen the development of the park following the 1995 base closure, the payments from the approximate 70 employers in the park come in three forms: service fee payments to the City of Rome; payments-in-lieu-of-taxes; and property taxes.

PILOT payments added up to $3.2 million in 2010. Property taxes generated an additional $652,806 with service fee payments totaling $183,503. The latter payments go to the city from GLDC-owned properties that produce rent revenue.

The money was distributed among the Rome schools, City of Rome and the county. The amounts for each, according to GLDC, were: school district, nearly $1.6 million; city, $1.3 million; and county, $1.2 million.

This year’s payouts were reviewed with the GLDC and EDGE board members at their separate meetings this week. As a military installation, Griffiss did not pay property taxes.

There are more than 5,500 employees at Griffiss, counting both the business park and airfield. The workers come from 19 counties with Oneida and Herkimer counties accounting for 92 of the work force, according to a GLDC compilation.

“It’s actually a good mixture here,” said DiMeo, adding that the employee catchment area shows that the business park has become a regional asset with a mix of manufacturing, aviation, distribution, technology, government and commercial employers.

A total of 43 percent of the workers in the business park hail from Rome and its immediate suburbs. Nearly a quarter, or 23 percent, come from the Utica area. As a whole, 87 percent of the business park workers are Oneida County residents.

It is now estimated public and private investment at Griffiss tops $440 million since the base closed 15 years ago.

More information can be found at: Rome Sentinel

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