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March 15th, 2017

20-Year PILOT is Sought for LEGOLAND New York



GOSHEN - Merlin Entertainments has announced it will seek a 20-year Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement for the proposed LEGOLAND® New York theme park. The 20-year PILOT agreement was suggested by the Orange County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and evaluated as part of the IDA’s independent KPMG study.

“We hold in high regard the work of the Orange County IDA and the expertise of KPMG,” said Phil Royle, LEGOLAND New York head of project & community relations. “While we believe our initial proposal of a 30-year PILOT would have generated tremendous economic benefits to the Town of Goshen, the Goshen School District and Orange County, we respect public feedback and are modifying our request to a 20-year agreement. The updated proposal will provide even greater economic benefits to the community.” The KPMG report notes that the 20-year PILOT will generate $87 million in payments over a 30-year period, compared to Merlin’s initial proposal which would have generated approximately $61 million in payments over a 30-year period.

The Orange County IDA retained KPMG to undertake an independent review of the projected economic benefits of the Park, and compare Merlin’s 30-year PILOT proposal with the IDA’s suggested 20-year PILOT.  KPMG reviewed and analyzed data from Merlin’s other parks including LEGOLAND® California and LEGOLAND® Florida, and confirms Merlin Entertainments’ projected economic benefits of the proposed LEGOLAND New York theme park.

The KPMG report evaluated many economic benefits of LEGOLAND New York, and noted in just one example that Orange County could receive approximately $283 million over 30 years from its share of sales tax on tickets, food and merchandise and lodging.

Royle added that Merlin continues to be responsive to public comment.

“Our decision demonstrates that we have heard public feedback regarding our proposed PILOT agreement,” Royle said. “Our intention is to be responsive to community input, and modifying the PILOT proposal shows that.”

To read the report, visit: http://www.ocnyida.com/economic-impact-review-for-merlin-entertainment/

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