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Nassau, Glen Cove library to meet on tax distribution proposal

Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello speaks during a

Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello speaks during a city council meeting on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Nassau County legislators and Glen Cove Public Library board members will meet separately Monday and Tuesday on whether to allow the city of Glen Cove to get a larger proportion of revenue from the Garvies Point waterfront redevelopment than it usually gets from real-estate projects.

The Glen Cove Industrial Development Agency June 30 approved hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks for Garvies Point developer RXR Glen Isle Partners LLC, of Uniondale, in the form of payments in lieu of taxes. Garvies Point would include 1,110 apartments and condos, parks, stores and offices.

Manhattan-based Citigroup estimates that the city, county, library and school district will receive more than $622 million in PILOTs over 40 years, even after the tax breaks and $283 million in future tax revenues to pay for a bond are taken into account.

Typically, the city receives 29 percent of property-tax revenue, city spokeswoman Lisa Travatello said. The city wants 39.5 percent of PILOTs from Garvies Point, she said.

The allocation to the county would fall from the typical 7.5 percent to 6.4 percent, and the distribution to the library would decrease from 1.5 percent to 1.4 percent. The biggest drop would be the allocation to the schools, which would fall from the usual 62 percent to 52.7 percent.

Glen Cove school board President Amy Franklin declined to comment on the proposal, referring questions to Supt. Maria Rianna, who said in an email that the district’s attorneys are still reviewing the city’s request. The board plans to consider the proposal at either its Aug. 1 or Aug. 29 meeting, Rianna said.

The Glen Cove Library Board voted on Tuesday to accede to the city’s request, pending a review by the board’s attorney, Mineola-based Kenneth Gray, said board president Michael Maher. The vote followed a presentation by Mayor Reginald Spinello and Michael Zarin, a White Plains-based attorney for the city.

But that vote was behind closed doors, and after Gray told the board the vote must be during a public meeting, the board scheduled a special session for Tuesday night, at which another vote will be taken, Maher said.

A county legislative committee will discuss the proposal on Monday afternoon.

Zarin said it is in the interests of the county legislature, library and school board to approve the distribution plan. If they don’t, that could endanger the bond issuance, and if the bond falls through, the city likely would have to offer more tax breaks to RXR that reduce revenue the county, library and schools would receive, he said.

Roger Street Friedman, president of Committee for a Sustainable Waterfront, which opposes Garvies Point, said a less dense, less tall development on the waterfront without tax breaks would still provide additional revenue for the county, schools and library, with fewer expenses from more heavily used schools, roads and other amenities.


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