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Pols set several meetings over Green Acres Mall tax breaks

The Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream on

The Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream on Oct. 27, 2016. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Several state and local elected officials will meet Thursday with Valley Stream schools superintendents to discuss tax breaks granted to the Green Acres Mall, the first of four meetings this month about the issue.

Legis. C. William Gaylor III (R-Lynbrook) organized the meeting “for the purpose of discussing the return of approximately $3 million in tax dollars raised in connection with the Green Acres” payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, according to a Dec. 26 letter. It will be at 10:30 a.m. at the William L. Buck School in Valley Stream.

In 2014, the Hempstead Town Industrial Development Agency granted tax breaks to The Macerich Co., the California-based owner of the mall. Elected officials and Valley Stream taxpayers have said the agreement led to steep school tax hikes for residents. The IDA, however, said school district budgeting practices are to blame and wrote a letter to Gaylor about it on Dec. 29.

School district officials have said they were not told how much PILOT revenue they would receive, leading them to under-budget their portion by nearly $3 million. Nicholas Stirling, superintendent of School District 30, has said any excess money would be returned to taxpayers through a “reduced tax levy” for the 2017-18 school year.

On Jan. 12, Nassau County Legis. Carrie Solages (D-Elmont) is sponsoring a community forum for residents to learn whether they have any legal recourse over the increased taxes. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Gateway Christian Center in Valley Stream.

On Jan. 19, the IDA will hold a public meeting to listen to residents’ concerns about the mall’s tax breaks. The IDA might revoke the tax breaks, which experts have said may be illegal if no errors occurred in granting them. That meeting is set for 7 p.m. at the Robert W. Carbonaro School in Valley Stream.

The IDA will hold its regular board meeting on Jan. 26 at 9 a.m. in the old courthouse of Hempstead Town Hall. The tax breaks could be overturned as early as then.

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