News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.
Nassau County saw a 26 percent drop in Nassau Coliseum-related entertainment surcharge and sales tax revenues from 2010 to 2012, according to an analysis by the Office of Legislative Budget Review released this week.
The analysis shows that the Coliseums entertainment surcharge revenue, which amounts to $1.50 per ticket, fell from $1.3 million in 2010 to $946,111 in 2012. The surcharge dollars attributed directly to the New York Islanders declined more steeply, falling 40 percent from $675,362 to $403,508 in the two years.
Sales tax revenues fell from $2.9 million to $2.1 million in the same time period.
In its report, the budget review office also confirmed that the New York Islanders and Coliseum-operator SMG owe the county more than $2 million in unpaid bills.
The Coliseum unfortunately has always been a problem for the county in terms of actual revenue generation and here we find ourselves chasing money thats owed to us, said Legis. Wayne Wink (D-Roslyn).
County Executive Ed Mangano said his plan to scale down the arena would improve the situation.
It comes as no surprise that the aging Coliseum is not attracting shows, Mangano said in a statement. This is exactly why I am seeking privately-financed proposals to reinvent the Coliseum and make the facility once again prosperous for our community.
Wink said he wanted the Nassau County Legislature to be briefed on plans to improve the 77 acres surrounding the Coliseum, including, he suggested, a full public hearing before the April 15 deadline for the new request for proposals on a renvoated or reconstructed arena.
New York Islanders senior vice president Michael Picker did not return calls for comment.