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You get a tax break! And you get a tax break! And . . .
The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency is at it again, granting big tax breaks to a business that didn’t really seem to merit it. This time it is a Honda service center in Valley Stream.
What may be changing is who stands up to fight the deals.
The new Honda facility will get a three-year freeze in property taxes and nine more years of reduced payments, along with a $300,000 sales-tax exemption and a $67,000 mortgage-recording tax abatement. That doesn’t mean the taxing districts involved will get less money, it means others will have to pay more. School districts in particular, are starting to take notice.
Several Valley Stream school districts were vocal in opposing the Honda breaks. They say they were recently burned by huge tax hikes for residents in the districts from a big Hempstead Town IDA tax break given to the Green Acres Mall. They didn’t win when the newest tax break was granted on Wednesday, but such activism could change the environment for such deals.
IDAs are political entities, with their leaders picked by elected officials. And, as we see with the turmoil on the Hempstead IDA board, officials don’t like angry taxpayers.
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It can seem sometimes as if crusading U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is everywhere at once. Now that includes Twitter.
On Wednesday, Bharara multiplied himself on the social media site, announcing on his official @USAttyBharara account the creation of @PreetBharara. The new personal account’s bio includes “Patriotic American & proud immigrant. Movie buff. @Springsteen fan,” along with his official job as U.S. attorney for the Southern District — employment extended by President Donald Trump.
Some politicians in New York have developed multiple Twitter accounts as they prepare to run for new (or old) jobs. Mayor Bill de Blasio recently separated his Twitter presence into @NYCMayor and @BilldeBlasio for the 2017 campaign. A personal account could also allow the tweeter to get edgier or to convey a personal side in addition to the swaggering sheriff style.
The purpose of Bharara’s new (and verified) account is something of a mystery, as he hadn’t tweeted as of Thursday afternoon.
We’ll just have to stay tuned.
One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish
Theodor Geisel, best known as Dr. Seuss, was born 113 years ago Thursday. His zany and delightful books and illustrations inspired millions of children, but there was also a political edge in many of his works. In that spirit, The Point presents an apropos-for-the-times re-interpretation of some of the good doctor’s classics:
- “The Cat in the Hat” — In this charming early reader, a boastful cat of a type heretofore unknown and wearing a big ill-fitting tie barges into a quiet house, wreaks havoc, then unleashes two creatures called Thing One and Thing Two (both of whom also answer to Steve), who turn the place completely upside down.
- “Horton Hears a Who!” — An elephant rumbling through the jungle hears voices, very small and faint and desperate voices, asking for help. He listens and tells them they can count on him. But other jungle creatures who can’t hear the voices call the elephant a fool and try to stop him. In the end, the elephant wins.
- “McElligot’s Pool” — A little boy named Marco, a bit of a dreamer, tries to catch fish in a polluted pond filled with junk. He’s ridiculed, but validates his effort by imagining what he might catch. Alas, he gets nothing.