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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

IDA gave more tax breaks to mall owner than Carrier got

Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, pictured on

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

Critics of Donald Trump’s recently announced deal to prevent Carrier Corp. from moving jobs to Mexico say the president-elect gave away too much.

But Trump seems like a piker in comparison to the former Hempstead Industrial Development Agency board, which gave multimillion-dollar tax breaks to the owner of the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream.

Trump claims he saved 1,100 high-paying manufacturing jobs when he persuaded Carrier to stay in Indiana. While the steelworkers’ union chief has grumbled that the number includes 350 engineering jobs that were never going to relocate, nobody is denying that the jobs saved are good-paying positions.

In return, Carrier gets $700,000 a year in tax breaks — $7 million over 10 years.

Now consider the Hempstead IDA’s 2015 deal with Macerich, owner of the Green Acres Mall and the nearby Green Acres Commons.

The IDA gave Macerich $6.5 million in tax breaks this year alone, according to the Nassau Legislature’s independent office of budget review. In 15 years, those tax breaks are estimated to be a total of $59.9 million, the office reports.

In return, the Green Acres Mall will retain several thousand retail jobs that pay an average $37,500 yearly and will create 800 new retail jobs that Macerich estimated would pay $43,000 annually.

However, project results “show that on average IDA-created and retained jobs pay below-average wages,” OLBR reported, adding later that the positions “are well below the average Nassau County individual earnings.”

The tax breaks have been blamed for causing school taxes to soar this year, boosting some Valley Stream homeowners’ bills by as much as $1,000.

Six of the seven Hempstead IDA board members resigned last month after town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino threatened to fire them because of the tax breaks they granted.


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