Recent KPMG study and public comment reduces length of requested PILOT
GOSHEN, N.Y. (Feb. 27, 2017) — 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/
About Merlin Entertainments plc
Merlin Entertainments plc is a global leader in location based, family entertainment. Europe’s No. 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates more than 100 attractions, 13 hotels and four holiday villages in 23 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable experiences to its more than 60 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its approximate 27,000 employees. Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.
About LEGOLAND Parks
The first LEGOLAND Park opened in 1968 in Billund, Denmark, following by Windsor in the United Kingdom in 1996 and in California in 1999. In 2002, LEGOLAND Deutschland opened. Since 2005, those four parks have belonged to British-based Merlin Entertainments Group. In 2011, the group opened LEGOLAND Florida and LEGOLAND Malaysia in 2012. LEGOLAND Dubai opened in 2016 with LEGOLAND Japan scheduled to open in April of 2017. To learn more about LEGOLAND New York, come to the Community Welcome Center at 6 N. Church St. in Goshen to visit and review plans. To learn more, visit: www.LEGOLAND.com.