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--- Issued February 12, 2016

On December 21 of last year, the Housing Authority of the City of Erie authorized the distribution of Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) totaling $314,529.84 to the three taxing bodies (City, County, and School District).

The total payment is $314,529.84 which is $315.84 less than 2014, but still the third highest PILOT ever paid.

These payments are traditionally made to the taxing bodies in December, once the board approves the distribution at the November meeting.

According to Housing Authority Executive Director John Horan, “The Housing Authority is, by state law, exempt from real estate taxes, however, we make these payments to the taxing bodies for the services they provide to public housing residents. Providing financial support to our local governing bodies is the right thing to do even though we are tax exempt. We are limited by federal law as to the amount of the PILOT payments. However, we always pay the maximum amount permitted.”

“We make PILOT payments every year to the three taxing bodies. We believe in paying our share to support governing bodies’ services and functions that benefit our residents and, indirectly, the entire community,” said Horan.

“The Authority wants to help soften the budget crunch for the City of Erie, Erie County and for the City of Erie School District,” Horan said.

Continued high PILOT is due to the increase in rental income collected and the reduction in utility costs during the 12 months ending September 30, 2015. These are the two main factors that determine the amount of the PILOT. High occupancy and the reduction in utility costs resulted in a windfall benefit for the taxing bodies.

The Housing Authority sent a check in the amount of $120,738.47 to Erie Mayor Joseph Sinnott. This amount represents the city’s share of the Authority’s 2015 Payment in Lieu of Taxes. In 2015, the Authority also paid the City $475,421 to support various services and functions such as the C.O.P.P.S. supplementary police patrols in public housing.

Jay Badams, Superintendent of Erie’s Public Schools, received a check for $149,464.43 which represents the Erie’s Public Schools share of the Housing Authority’s 2015 Payment in Lieu of Taxes. The Authority expended another $927,854.99 in 2015 for education-related services for children and adults, including two adult learning centers, and three after-school and summer recreation centers.

Erie’s Public Schools educate most of the children who live in public housing,” said Horan. “We are pleased to make these contributions to support and reinforce the school district’s efforts to provide quality education for all the citizens of Erie.”

County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper will receive a PILOT check for $44,326.94. This is in addition to the $122,334 paid by the Authority in 2015 for Erie County services in public housing neighborhoods, including Adult and Juvenile Probation, and two Erie County Youth Libraries.

Each year, since 1941, the Authority has made voluntary PILOT payments to the City of Erie, Erie County, and the Erie School District. Counting this year’s contribution of $314,529.84 the Authority has paid a total of $8,246,431.15 in lieu of real estate taxes.

The Housing Authority of the City of Erie exists to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing for lower-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities, and to foster among the residents served by the Authority economic self-sufficiency and a sense of community and pride in the neighborhoods where they reside.

The Authority owns and manages 2,150 quality housing units in the City of Erie for low- and moderate-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. In total the Authority provides affordable housing to over 7,500 Erie citizens through its various housing programs.

For more informaton, contact Horan at 452-2425.