Nassau County Legislators Robert Troiano (D-Westbury) and Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) today were joined by Village of Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall, members of the clergy and local residents to call on the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency (IDA) to defer a vote scheduled for Wednesday, February 24, to grant financial assistance, including a twenty year tax abatement, for the 590-600 Fulton Street Project.
Over 30% of the properties in the Village of Hempstead currently receive some form of tax abatement. As a result, residents of the Village of Hempstead pay one of the highest property tax rates per square foot in the entire state. The tax abatement being considered by the IDA would further exacerbate the burden Hempstead’s residents are under already.
“The taxpayers in the Village of Hempstead simply can’t afford to have any more properties taken off the tax rolls,” said Legislator Troiano. “Many residents are struggling to ensure their family’s well-being and protect their homes. Enough is enough!”
At a hearing on January 25, over fifty residents of the Village, including representatives of the 590-600 Fulton Street Tenants Association, expressed reservations about the project. During the hearing, more information about the project and the need for financial assistance was requested from the applicant, 590-600 Realty Corp. Despite repeated requests, the applicant has declined to provide the requested information.
“Our residents are already under severe financial pressure caused by high taxes.” added Legislator Abrahams. “This will make the situation even worse. The applicant needs to respect the community and the tenants by responding to our request for more information.”
“The IDA Board is composed of members who live outside of the Village of Hempstead. As a result, our residents are enduring a form of taxation without representation,” commented Mayor Hall.
The applicant is requesting an abatement of real property taxes for a term of twenty years, which is a deviation from the IDA’s stated policy of not granting abatements for longer than ten years. In its Notice of Public Hearing, the IDA said it is also contemplating providing assistance in the form of exemptions from sales taxes, use taxes and mortgage recording taxes.
It is estimated that the abatement, if approved, will provide an annual property tax savings to the applicant of $400,000. The savings to the applicant represents a cost to other taxpayers in the Village who will be forced to pay for it through a higher tax assessment on their properties. Tenants of the building have submitted a petition asking the IDA to vote against the applicant’s request. The residents are concerned that the applicant will also raise rates and want assurances that this is not his intention.
Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead), County Legislator Robert Troiano (D-Westbury) and Village of Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall are pictured with clergy, school board members and civic leaders during a press conference calling on the Town of Hempstead IDA to defer their vote on a tax break for the Fulton Street Project.