Officials tour state owned land to see impacts of PILOT program

Franklin County

SOUTH DEERFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Local officials will be joined by State Auditor Suzanne Bump to tour several sites in Franklin County Friday.

State Auditor Suzanne Bump will be joined with State Senator Adam Hinds, State Representative Natalie Blais, State Representative Paul Mark, Linda Dunlavy, Executive Director, Franklin Regional Council of Governments in South Deerfield and Plainfield.

The tours will be conducted to determine the impact of the state’s payments in-lieu of taxes (PILOT) program for state-owned land on smaller communities. A recent report conducted by the Office of the State Auditor’s Division of Local Mandates (DLM) showed that the programs were underfunded leading to a negative impact on western Massachusetts communities.

Tour of state-owned land sites in western Massachusetts:

  • Mt. Sugarloaf State Reservation located at 300 Sugarloaf St in South Deerfield (10:30 a.m.)
  • Dubuque State Forest located at 466 W. Hawley Road in Plainfield (1:15 p.m.)

The purpose of the tour is to show legislators the impacts of the PILOT program being underfunded on Massachusetts residents.

The DLM, since issuing their report, has made several several recommendations that could protect municipalities with reduced land and PILOT reimbursement values. Earlier this year, Auditor Bump worked with members of the State Legislature in filing a bill to fix the PILOT Program. The bill has yet to be voted on.

22News Reporter Kate Wilkinson is covering this story and will have updated information on 22News starting at 5 p.m.

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