iStar denied tax break
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Kearney told Newsday that iStar submitted a revised request for economic relief earlier this summer, but it was turned down because it was too similar to the original request. The IDA is considering a third proposal, the details of which were not immediately available. It could be discussed during a public meeting in Long Beach in seven to 10 days, according to Newsday.
“The Nassau County IDA has not consulted with the city since their public hearing was held in May, and we have not been provided with the details of the newest PILOT proposal,” City Manager Jack Schnirman said in a statement. “The decision to grant or deny a PILOT proposal rests solely with the IDA. They are responsible for ensuring that tax abatements are granted only to projects that are demonstrably advantageous to the host community in terms of economic benefits, job creation and supporting local businesses. We look forward to receiving the IDA’s detailed financial analysis.”
Representatives of iStar did not immediately return calls for comment, but Executive Vice President Karl Frey has said that the project would benefit the community in the long term. Frey said that the project would generate $41.1 million in taxes over the next 25 years — $25 million more than if the property remains vacant — and more than $100 million in 30 years. Still, many residents just weren’t convinced.
The developer’s request has become a major campaign issue in this year’s City Council race, and the decision came just days before a Democratic primary. Opponents of the current Democratic administration — and council members who are up for re-election — have criticized the city for supporting iStar’s request.
"We are very pleased with the IDA's decision," said Republican candidate Angelo Lomonte, a former Zoning Board of Appeals trustee who voted against the development last year. "This is prime oceanfront real estate, they deserve no tax breaks on the backs of residents. Especially after they were given two variances for height and density, which was against the residents' wishes."
Though some council members have stated that they have no control over the request and could not share their opinions about the abatement — citing potential litigation if they were to speak for or against it — both Frey and Kearney have said that the city supported the application. The terms of the PILOT were negotiated with the city before iStar submitted its final application to the IDA in May, records show.