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Rite Aid’s value drops six figures

Rite Aid, Catskill, 226 W. Bridge St., Catskill, closed July 2018. The town board voted to reduced its assessed property value by almost $1 million on Tuesday.
July 4, 2019 10:01 pm

Columbia-Greene Media

CATSKILL — Town officials voted to reduce the former Rite Aid’s assessed value by nearly $1 million on Tuesday.

Rite Aid contested its 2018 assessed value by entering into tax certiorari proceedings with the town. The Catskill Town Board reached an agreement with the company to reduce its assessment from $1.7 million to $734,500 in 2019 — a total of $965,500.

“This translates to a $7,657 loss in tax revenue to the county, $2,056 to the town, $23,133 to the village, $27,566 to the school and $1,086 to the library,” Town Supervisor Doreen Davis said.

The board unanimously approved the resolution, with the exception of Town Councilwoman Dawn Scannapieco, who was absent, and Town Councilman Jared Giodiano, who was not present for the vote.

“This ends all potential litigation between Rite Aid and the Town of Catskill,” Davis said.

Rite Aid is entitled to a refund for the excess taxes, according to the resolution approved by the town board.

The Catskill Rite Aid, located at 226 West Bridge St., closed last July after the Rite Aid chain was acquired by Walgreens.

Walgreens also purchased Rite Aid locations in Hudson and Greenville in September 2017.

The Hudson Rite Aid was transformed into a Walgreens in November 2018. The Greenville location remains open as a Rite Aid.

The future of the shuttered Catskill store remains unclear.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, the owner of the Walgreens brand, announced it would buy approximately half of Rite Aid’s stores for $5.18 billion June 29, 2017. The Federal Trade Commission approved an agreement Sept. 19, 2017 for Walgreens Boots Alliance to buy Rite Aid with 1,932 stores for $4.38 billion.

The purchased stores were primarily located in the Northeast and South, according to a statement issued by the company in September 2017.

“After all stores are acquired, stores are planned to be converted to the Walgreens brand in carefully planned phases over time,” according to the statement.

But the company has not said which stores will be converted into Walgreens locations and which will be closed permanently and sold.

A Walgreens is located across from the Catskill store at 19 Central Ave., across from Burger King.

Walgreens is the second-largest drug-store chain behind CVS.

And why exactly should the Town be paying loser compensation to big Pharma retail chains eating their own young to concentrate their stock profits?

This is a "zero sum game." The real estate tax assessment pool is set by county, town, school, and village service costs, and is not based on income or success v. failure of corporate business plans. But, disproportionate settlement amounts have gone to Walmart and Rite Mart, which is now Walgreens, the victor, being paid by us - subsidized to give us consumers less choice and competition. What's wrong with that picture?