Golf Course Assessment Legislation

A downstate Senator is proposing legislation that could devastate upstate golf courses.

Posted: Apr 23, 2019 6:28 PM

Getting in a game of golf may be a whole lot more difficult in New York. Downstate Democrat Senator David Carlucci is proposing legislation that would allow for re-assessing golf courses at the highest and best use, rather than its current use. Senator Joe Griffo (R) 47th Senate District explains why the proposed legislation could put many upstate golf courses out of business.

"It’s not just one level of government, its every taxing jurisdiction, so even though the County may decide that this isn’t a wise move, a town or a village could at some point say: we have a fiscal problem, we’re going to go back and now re-evaluate and re-assess the golf course because that can generate a lot more income."

If this legislation were to pass, it could put many golf courses like Twin Ponds in the hole. David Girmonde is the Owner of Twin Ponds Golf & Country Club.

"Golf in New York State would change drastically, or we’d go out of business. The tax implications from 150 acres would just be so overwhelming. The green fees would have to go to 6, 7, $800 a round, which you’re just not going to get here."

The thought alone has New Hartford Golfer Anthony Obeid concerned.

"Alright, so I’m going to enjoy my last round, and then ah… (laughs) I guess maybe do it once a year or something. Yeah, that’s tough."

West Winfield Golfer Bob Gray said golf wouldn't be the only business affected.

"It would probably force me to either play someplace else, or to play less, and if I play less then I don’t buy the beverage inside and I don’t have the sandwich, and I don’t buy/pay for fuel coming back and forth, so it affects many things. It just doesn’t affect this golf course in particular, but it affects everything that I do."

The proposed legislation may be more of a political tactic than a fiscal one. On the surface it might seem like a way to generate more tax revenues, but David Girmonde, Owner of Twin Ponds Golf & Country Club, is calling it a political move.

"My understanding is that it’s a Senator from downstate, a Democrat who is looking to go after Donald Trump’s golf course. So by proposing this, he’d have to propose it to all golf courses, he can’t just single one out."

Senator Griffo beleives there is political motivation behind many new bills.

"I think some of that is true right now. If you look downstate at some of these private facilities, and now with one party control here, one region domination, they’re trying to make some statements, and I think it’s unfortunate."

Unfortunate may be an understatement. Eugene Carcone is the Owner of Stonebridge Golf Course. He says many upstate golf courses are already struggling, and could be forced to close.

"All of them are in a lot of trouble. There’s going to be closing, after closing, after closing. This tax would just make that accelerate beyond proportion."

New Hartford Golfer Anthony Obeid would be willing to pay more for a round of golf, but don’t believe politics should be the motivation for this kind of legislation.

"The game of golf transcends the boundaries. I think people on either side of the isle are going to be upset about something like this, so at the end of the day I think it’s something that’s interesting to consider. It’d definitely be another revenue stream if they want to then take away taxes from somewhere else so that we can then balance it out."

This bill may have a ways to go before becoming law, but the legislation has already passed one committee in the Assembly.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2085477

Reported Deaths: 52953
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings27746810323
Queens2743149851
Suffolk1995063381
Nassau1823433162
Bronx1814066532
New York1369214455
Westchester1288642268
Erie884341778
Richmond740651812
Monroe668651075
Orange47883810
Rockland46673955
Onondaga38098671
Dutchess29194444
Albany24445350
Oneida22271505
Niagara19704362
Broome18367357
Saratoga15123166
Ulster13777251
Schenectady12999200
Rensselaer11114140
Putnam1054191
Chautauqua8814141
Chemung7560135
Oswego744690
Ontario731192
Steuben6786143
Sullivan655272
St. Lawrence651596
Cayuga622192
Jefferson594267
Wayne566067
Cattaraugus561287
Genesee5357123
Herkimer5110107
Clinton480733
Madison447788
Livingston438158
Fulton434491
Tompkins425051
Montgomery4206123
Columbia4013101
Cortland376660
Tioga370262
Warren359057
Wyoming351752
Allegany344084
Chenango340976
Otsego340247
Greene336977
Washington309155
Orleans305683
Lewis271134
Franklin251812
Delaware232037
Seneca198256
Schoharie166317
Essex157726
Yates116826
Schuyler103314
Hamilton3072
Unassigned11743
Out of NY0237
Utica
Partly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 76°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 69°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 76°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 76°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve