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Covington School Board OKs Tax Breaks for Two Downtown Projects

The Covington Board of Education agreed to participate in two payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) programs for downtown projects.

The former downtown YMCA and neighboring building most recently used as a bookstore for Gateway Community & Technical College are currently being renovated as part of an expansion of Hotel Covington on Madison Avenue. Meanwhile, the Monarch Building on Fourth Street is set to become home to DBL Law.

Both projects are seeking a lower tax obligation from the school district.

Board member April Brockhoff was the lone dissenter, voting against both. She said that she did not like the idea of committing to a 40-year program without having an official board policy on tax incentives in place.

Board Attorney Mary Ann Stewart said that the Hotel Covington project was not a new request, that it had been on at least two other agendas for the board, and the companies involved with the project have timelines and deadlines. 

Stewart advised that it wouldn't be a good idea to put the subject off for another two to three months.

Board president Tom Wherry argued that the projects are ultimately good for the schools as they help with economic development.

Board member Glenda Huff said that a tax policy would be in place soon but wanted to go ahead and support the two current projects.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor