Tax Breaks No Good For City

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Mayor Spinello’s crusade to urge the City Council to support hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks for the Garvies Point redevelopment plan will prove to be a detriment to the suburban way of life we have all come to expect and enjoy in Glen Cove.

Under the PILOTS (payments in lieu of taxes) program the $960 million project would, as the city’s consulting attorney Mr. Zarin, noted, significantly reduce RXR’s property taxes by 40 percent for the first 20 years beginning next year and then 20 percent for the following 20 years. In other words, RXR will benefit from these tax abatements and pay reduced taxes for the next 40 years.

What make this head scratching plan more bizarre, is that the City of Glen Cove will not realize any income until after 2043 when the bonds are projected to be paid off, assuming that are paid off on time. Thus, the city will have to wait more than 25 years before reaping the “gains” the mayor claims this project will generate.

There are many more questions that need answers. What happens in terms of future revenues and/or PILOTS if the waterfront development plan doesn’t get off the ground in a timely fashion? Why hasn’t the exact dollar amount of the property tax breaks been made public?

Reggie disregards the fact that the two Avalon projects were also awarded substantial tax abatements. A review of the tax revenues of the past decade should reveal that the city didn’t garner the revenue projections during that project’s construction. So far it has been all smoke and mirrors.

Reggie, you state that you inherited this project with no prior input in its conception before your first mayoral term. Although this statement may be accurate it belies the fact that during your first mayoral run you campaigned vigorously against this project as the number of residential units were too high for this area. Ironically, the number of residential units which was not only approved under your administration, but with your blessing, is now approximately 27 percent higher than it was before.

You have an obligation to the City of Glen Cove and its residents to seek and facilitate a project that will emphasize both a strong business presence and supplemental residential development in Glen Cove without ruining the suburban nature of our city. This current construction plan lacks both elements.

Unfortunately, you do not seem to understand that you have chosen a path that will forever negatively impact Glen Cove and the neighboring Hempstead Harbor communities.

—Steve J. Gonzalez

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