BETHLEHEM — The town’s Industrial Development Agency voted on Friday, March 22 to end tax exemptions to SAE Sun & Technology Inc., an affiliate of Monolith Solar, in relation to the halted construction of the latter’s $4.9 million Slingerlands headquarters building at the Vista Technology Campus. Monolith Solar had been looking to receive $680,000 in tax exemptions.
The tax breaks were terminated because Monolith Solar did not pay a payment in lieu of tax payment and an administrative fee that was originally due back on Jan. 1, 2019, and also since the company failed to complete the aforementioned building by Dec. 13, 2018 and did not employ 49 employees there. The canceled exemption agreement would prevent the real property tax abatement from applying towards the building, and also stop any future sales tax exemptions that are estimated at $296,000.
In a March 22 IDA press release, IDA Chairman Frank Venezia said that the board had tried working with Monolith Solar in hopes of seeing the building achieve full fruition. “Over the course of the four years since the IDA began working with Monolith, the Board has asked company representatives to appear multiple times to answer questions and provide information that was absolutely critical for the IDA to fulfill its fiduciary duty to the residents of Bethlehem,” he added. “We have been incredibly patient with Monolith as they worked through various operating and financing issues. However, based on the current defaults, we have a responsibility under New York State law and our internal policies to terminate the agreement. The IDA will do all it legally can to recoup the exemptions previously granted. We owe this to the residents of Bethlehem.”