Recent articles in Newsday only tell part of the story. The contract for sale of the 52 acres requires RXR Realty throughout the agreement and in subsequent amendments, and specifically Amendment 4, which states: “the Redeveloper shall be responsible for the funding and construction of all Public Amenities. The Agencies acknowledge that the Redeveloper may seek funding from third-party sources, other than the City of Glen Cove and its agencies, in connection with funding all or part of the Public Amenities…”
So the redeveloper (RXR) is responsible for all costs, not the city and the use of anticipated tax revenue is contrary to the contract for sale. Glen Cove derives no benefit in the use of tax revenue to fund a private project when the tax revenue has always been anticipated to relieve some burden of our taxes.
Similarly, the mayor’s idea of retaining land is a contradiction of that same contract and in doing so would also violate zoning regulations, invalidate the Planned Unit Development and reduce the intended relief of tax burdens on the residents of Glen Cove as well.
A subsequent article and column by the mayor go on to misinform the public further. The “win-win” article in local papers informs the public that the road project will cost a projected $21 million. He forgets to note that the city has $10 million in grants designated for that road project. He notes that “municipalities regularly provide the public infrastructure and amenities to support a project.” Again, he fails to advise the public that the contract for sale requires the developer to finance and build them. He not only fails to explain how a TIF works but also forgets to tell us that the anticipated tax revenue being used for this includes the portion of school tax that would have gone to our schools. Finally he advises us that RXR will maintain the properties, making it sound like a concession on their part but in reality, RXR is required to maintain them by contract as well.
Posted on the city website by the mayor are a number of other inaccuracies. The city doesn’t get $15 million. The CDA/IDA gets a check but that is reduced by payments already made by RXR to pay CDA/IDA loans. The city gets $3.5 million out of that, which is in the budget but not yet realized. The city has no obligations to the county. The CDA/IDA does. The mayor states that over the next 40 years we would realize $500 million in tax but doesn’t subtract the $900 million he wants to give RXR in any equation nor does he explain that most of that is school tax. Any budget deficits should not be blamed on others, but by those who put one shot revenue into a budget and disregarded history that they should have learned from.
TIFs are not the answer, but holding RXR to the contract is.
Past Glen Cove CDA member