A: Just one—the Hudson Library building.
Assessed at $528,300, the current Library building at 400 State Street was transferred for $0 to the Foundation as a donation from a for-profit limited liability corporation, Galvan Partners LLC, less than two weeks ago.
Assuming that GIF is eventually approved as a charitable organization by the IRS, that $528,300 will presumbably be written off the LLC’s taxes, with Library building staying off the local tax rolls since GIF is listing the address as its offices. (Where the Library will wind up remains an open question.)
I had posed the above question to GIF’s newly-minted director, Tom Swope, in a public online forum last week. Mr. Swope—who previously oversaw numerous applications by Galvan to the Historic Preservation Commission and also millions in property tax grievances brought before the Board of Assessment Review—either did not know the answer, or was too busy to reply, or perhaps did not wish to share this public information.
So I researched it myself at the Columbia County Real Property Department, performing both a computer search and a hand-review of transfer forms (RP-5217s) since December 2011, when the Foundation was incorporated at the State level by Eric Galloway and Henry Van Ameringen.
The for-profit Galvan LLC still owns 35 other buildings in town, according to these records, including one home purchased in late December. Unless the Foundation and LLC have neglected to file their real estate paperwork in a timely way, the number of holdings of the latter is, again, just one.
The question and answer was interesting, among other reasons, because Hudson Mayor Bill Hallenbeck had alluded to what he termed “facts in regards to the Galvin [sic] Foundation and properties which have been purchased renovated, and provided to a lot of important City entities.” The Mayor also stated that he “happen[s] to appreciate what the foundation has accomplished here in Hudson.”
However, the facts on file at the County Real Property Department do not actually support that allusion. The Foundation has acquired a grand total of one building, and has yet to accomplish much except issue a press release, make a controversial proposal, and attack the integrity of three aldermen. One can only assume the Mayor was confusing the for-profit Galvan Partners LLC’s activities, rather than the Foundation’s. Either way, many locally have expressed reservations about or even opposition to the supposed “accomplishments” of either entity.
Tomorrow I expect to have some other real estate news gleaned in the course of this research.