The beautiful editorial "Downside of IDA deals" [Sept. 22] informs us of the dangers of IDA tax breaks. It clearly states that the people in Long Beach will be paying the wealthy developer’s taxes. You neglected to add that the IDA itself benefits by approving these tax breaks. It gets 10% of the amount the developer saves. I believe it is unfair to residents, and it’s happening all over Long Island, one of the already highest-taxed places in America. As Newsday said, the system is unsustainable and unjust. I believe it has to change.
In its editorial "Downside of IDA deals," we believe the editorial board missed the mark in describing the merits of two key economic development projects as well as the foundation of how industrial development agencies work.
In Long Beach, the Superblock project site has sat vacant for 40 years and stands to generate more than $23 million in taxes during the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) term, compared to $7 million with no project. Similarly, the future Huntington Hotel that has remained dormant for a decade and will generate more than $2.5 million in taxes during the PILOT, compared to $685,000 with no project. This does not account for the hundreds of millions of dollars the two projects will generate in economic activity. We should also mention Nassau and Suffolk counties’ IDAs were responsible for $5.5 billion in investment, more than 16,000 jobs created and 23,000 jobs retained, according to the New York State comptroller report released in 2020.
We maintain IDA-backed projects do not take money from the community. In fact, they add to the overall tax roll by making underutilized properties more appealing for development, which makes the property more valuable and its tax assessment higher. We believe this is good for everyone.
Editor’s note: Harry Coghlan is chief executive of Nassau County’s IDA. Tony Catapano is executive director of Suffolk County’s IDA.
Immigrants should use legal process
Although the letter "Most ancestors were once immigrants" [Just Sayin’, Oct. 10] may be correct, I believe the reader misses the point. Yes, in colonial days, Europeans came over and colonized this country and also brought slaves. In the late 1800s, Congress established the immigration service. There are established rules and regulations regarding those immigrating to the United States. No one is questioning those who come in legally. Both sets of my grandparents came over from Italy. The objection is to those who don’t come here legally and get documented.