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25 more years in tax breaks sought for Farmingdale senior housing

Woodbrige Senior Apartments in Farmingdale on Wednesday. The

Woodbrige Senior Apartments in Farmingdale on Wednesday. The affordable senior living facility is seeking a 25-year extension on a PILOT agreement with Nassau County. Photo Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

The developer of an affordable senior apartment facility in Farmingdale is seeking a 25-year extension on its tax exemption agreement with Nassau County.

The owners of Woodbridge at Farmingdale II, which has 62 affordable senior housing units, were approved in 2000 for a 15-year agreement to make fixed payments in lieu of property taxes, or PILOTs . They’re now seeking an extension, which would need final approval from the county legislature and may be put to a vote in September, a county spokeswoman said.

“The county is reviewing the requested PILOT extension for the Woodbridge project,” spokeswoman Christine Geed said in a statement. “All parties are working on a proposed agreement which would be submitted to the legislature for consideration.”

Daniel Baker, an attorney for the Lake Success-based company, did not respond to a request for comment.

A draft of the extension was presented to Oyster Bay Town officials in May, and the board voted to accept the proposal for tax breaks at its July 30 meeting.

Councilman Anthony Macagnone was the only member of the board to vote against the resolution, saying that “it’s time they pay their fair share.”

“It’s enough,” Macagnone said. “School taxes, other taxes are wild in Farmingdale. …Let them pay.”

The proposal states that the company’s ability to continue to provide affordable housing for seniors is “contingent upon its ability to continue to receive a tax exemption agreement.” Baker wrote in a letter to town officials that Woodbridge is “entitled to renew” the agreement with the county pursuant to the state private finance housing law.

According to the proposal, the developer would pay a schedule of fees instead of taxes beginning in the 2018-2019 fiscal year and incrementally increasing through 2042-2043. They would pay $91,329 for the first two fiscal years and $296,709 by the end of the PILOT.

The company has a neighboring affordable senior housing facility that was granted a tax exemption in 1998. The county legislature in 2014 then unanimously approved to give the company, Woodbridge at Farmingdale I, a 25-year extension on its PILOT.

Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said he wasn’t notified by the county or developer of the proposed extension.

“We’re doing more fact finding to figure out what is going on, because nobody called the mayor’s office nor tax assessor for the village of Farmingdale,” Ekstrand said.

The Farmingdale school district also wasn’t aware of the proposal. A spokesman said in a statement that it’s currently “looking into the financial implications it will have on the taxpayers of the district.”

The county granted Woodbridge at Farmingdale II a 15-year tax exemption agreement in 2000.

The developer is now looking for a 25-year extension of the agreement.

Under the proposal, the developer would pay $91,329 for the first two fiscal years and $269,709 by the end of the PILOT instead of taxes.

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