It hasn’t been reported in the local press yet, but on Wednesday the Greenport Town Board unanimously passed a resolution expressing its opposition to the payment-in-lieu-of-tax plan for Premier Brands.
The PILOT proposal under consideration by the Columbia County Industrial Development Agency would allow Premier to avoid paying its full share of taxes over the next 10 years. The Westchester-based company intends to site a warehousing operation in the now empty Wal-Mart space on Fairview Avenue, in the Price Chopper plaza.
Notably, the attorney representing Premier is Bill Better, the former Columbia County attorney who stepped down after three female County employees filed sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits against him in 1997. One of those suits alleged that that “Better forced her to contribute to the local GOP, and was sexually harassed and stalked by him,” and was settled for $120,000. Another similar suit was reportedly settled for $210,000. Better denied the charges, with his attorney characterizing the suits in the Times-Union as “a stick-up.”
Better is also currently representing PCB processors TCI of NY before the Ghent Planning Board, and was retained last year by the Stuyvesant Town Board at a $250-per-hour rate to address lawsuits related to Will Pflaum’s dog boarding business.