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Nassau IDA gives tax breaks to self-storage facility

Nassau IDA executive director Joseph J. Kearney says

Nassau IDA executive director Joseph J. Kearney says Plainview residents "will be happy" the IDA granted tax breaks to a self-storage facility. The photo is from Feb. 24, 2016. Credit: Daniel Goodrich

Nassau County, in what some see as a controversial move, has given tax breaks to a seventh proposed self-storage facility.

The county’s Industrial Development Agency said Salrum Associates LLC merits help because it has agreed to remove environmentally contaminated soil from a Plainview parcel and construct a 131,000-square-foot storage facility.

IDA officials said the property, at 150 Fairchild Ave., had been the site of a former oil terminal and has been vacant since 2008.

“It’s a blighted property, an eyesore,” said IDA executive director Joseph J. Kearney. “I know the powers-that-be look askance in Albany at projects such as this. But in the minds of people in Plainview, and the people who will work at this facility — they will be happy that we did this.”

Some critics of IDAs in the state capital and locally have said self-storage facilities shouldn’t be granted tax breaks because the facilities don’t need them and employ only a handful of people. IDAs are charged with creating and retaining local jobs by granting tax incentives.

In return for tax breaks worth well over $600,000, Salrum has promised to create four jobs.

Kearney said last week that the Plainview storage facility and others backed by the IDA address a chronic need of Nassau residents.

In February, Richard Cunningham, assistant superintendent for business for the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District, said the proposed self-storage business “is probably an improvement for the community.”

However, during a public hearing, he had requested that the IDA only award property tax breaks for five years. Last week, the IDA board unanimously approved breaks lasting 12 years.

Salrum will have its property tax rate frozen for one year, followed by increases of at least 1.56 percent in each of the next 11 years. Salrum also received a sales-tax exemption of up to $517,500 on construction materials and other equipment, and $88,200 off the mortgage recording tax.

The four jobs created at the facility will pay an average of $41,080 per year, excluding medical and retirement benefits, according to IDA records.

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