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The Islanders seek $400G tax break from the Nassau County IDA

The Islanders are seeking the sales tax exemption on their purchase of construction materials, equipment and other supplies.

An aerial view of NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum,

An aerial view of NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum, April 5, 2017. Photo Credit: ALL Island Aerial/Kevin P. Coughlin

The Islanders are requesting a $400,000 sales tax break from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency on their financial contribution to the $8.7 million renovation of NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.

The team is seeking to facilitate its temporary return to its former home arena in Uniondale.

The Islanders are contributing $2.7 million in addition to a state grant for $6 million to renovate the county-owned arena to bring it into National Hockey League compliance. The Islanders are seeking the sales tax exemption on their purchase of construction materials, equipment and other supplies needed to complete the renovation project.

The Islanders are scheduled to play 60 games at the Coliseum over the next three seasons while they await a new arena at Belmont Park. They will play the remainder of their games at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, their home since 2015.

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which operates both the Coliseum and Barclays Center, submitted paperwork to the IDA on the Islanders’ behalf. Newsday obtained a copy of the 56-page application under the Freedom of Information Law.

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which is orchestrating the renovation, will make a presentation at the IDA meeting Tuesday before the group votes.

“We’re happy that the Islanders are planning to come home and will play games at the Coliseum,” IDA chairman Richard Kessel said. “We look forward to the presentation, and we will evaluate their application closely because taxpayer money is involved.”

The Islanders declined to comment.

The Coliseum reopened a year ago following an 18-month, $180-million renovation by Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment during which the seating capacity for hockey games was reduced to 13,900 from more than 16,000.

This latest renovation, set to begin this month, includes installation of video-cable infrastructure, an upgrade of the ice rink equipment and a renovation of the locker room that will be used by the Islanders. The application projects that the county will receive “close to $2 million annually” from various tax revenues generated by Islanders games at the Coliseum.

Meanwhile, the Islanders’ arena project at Belmont remains in the environmental review stage, with construction slated to begin as early as next spring. That $1 billion project calls for an 18,000-seat arena for the Islanders in addition to 435,000 square feet of retail stores, restaurants, movie theater and a 250-room hotel.

With James T. Madore

CORRECTION: The Barclays Center has been home for the Islanders since 2015. An earlier version of this story gave the incorrect date.

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