Costco proposed in Oceanside can include gas station, says town board

A Costco shopping floor on Oct. 6, 2009. A Costco shopping floor on Oct. 6, 2009. Photo Credit: AP

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The Hempstead Town Board on Tuesday approved a gas station addition to a proposed Costco in Oceanside, where a request for tax exemptions has been shelved by Nassau County.

Board members voted 5-0, with council member Angie Cullin absent, to approve a gas station with 30,000 gallons of storage tanks and a tire installation garage at the yet-to-be built Costco wholesale warehouse in the Oil City neighborhood.

The $49 million, 151,000-square-foot store is to be built on a parcel of a former oil-storage facility at the southeast corner of Daly Boulevard and Hampton Road. The company estimates the store will employ more than 200 people.

Costco applied for tax exemptions from Nassau County in June, seeking to save $900,000 in sales tax on construction supplies and store furnishings, $162,000 on a mortgage recording tax and an undetermined savings on property taxes over several years. There were no comments during a July public hearing before the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency.

IDA executive director Joseph J. Kearney would not say whether the tax exemption request was denied but said the board would not take any action on Costco's application.

"The board has not taken any action, nor does it intend to," Kearney said. "It's not something the board is going to entertain."

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Issaquah, Washington-based Costco Wholesale Corp. did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday. Such tax breaks are banned under a 2013 New York law that bars IDAs from giving tax incentives to retailers. In July the IDA reviewed the application under a loophole that could classify the Costco as a tourist destination.

Hempstead Town IDA executive director Fred Parola said Costco first approached the town about a tax exemption but was turned down before it applied to Nassau County.

"It's a retail establishment. The IDA felt like it wasn't comfortable taking any tax exemptions," Parola said.

There was no public opposition to the Costco gas station during last month's town board meeting.

Costco officials told the town board that no mechanical work would be done at the site, except for tire installation. The gas station is to operate from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and until 7 p.m. on weekends.

It would be the second Costco with a gas station on Long Island. A Costco with a fueling station opened earlier this year in Riverhead.

With James T. Madore

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