Nassau County's Industrial Development Agency is prohibited from giving tax breaks to retailers, and yet it does just that with its "tourism exemption" ["Tax breaks draw gym," Business, Aug. 29].
How does the IDA intend to prove its claim that 2,000 gym members will come from outside Nassau to a new gym in Garden City, one of the few standards making it legal for the IDA to offer money to a retailer? Has the legal team for Nassau County actually vetted and approved this? If Life Time Fitness Inc. has a gym in Syosset, how can this one in Garden City draw 2,000 more people from outside of Nassau? Doesn't proximity to the first location have a bearing on whether the company is entitled to these tax breaks under this exemption?
On so many levels, the IDA's claims are ridiculous: To claim a "landlord-tenant" relationship because someone rents a locker defies common sense. This is grasping at straws to accomplish a project that is illegal based on IDA statutes. This is a property tax break for 20 years. Who is benefiting?
This situation needs much more oversight and investigation. The county does need to attract businesses, and tax breaks are a part of that package; however, it shouldn't be done at the expense of the taxpaying public when a business doesn't actually qualify.
Don't insult the intelligence of the voting public. Nassau County taxpayers are shouldering a heavy tax load, while our officials play God with our money.
Debra Gerrity, Bellmore