County Executive Laura Curran on IDA REFORM. iStar seems to like this regime change.

New Nassau County Executive Laura Curran promised IDA reforms under her administration:

  • March 27th, 2018: Curran announces IDA reforms [NEWSDAY]
  • March 28th, 2018: Curran announces IDA reforms [The Island Now]
  • September 20th, 2017: Laura Curran pushes IDA reforms [NEWSDAY]
  • April 11th, 2018 [THAT IS TODAY!]: County Executive Curran Announces Sweeping Reforms to Industrial Development Agency [nassaucountyny.gov]

But according to an article in today’s Newsday, the iStar attorney thinks this new Laura Curran administration will be in their favor:

“People know there’s been a change in [IDA] administration at the county level and the developers are optimistic to come to a deal to come to the IDA to proceed very quickly,” said Scott Mollen, an attorney for the development. [NEWSDAY]

Below is today’s announcement from Laura Curran [link]. Will she hold her promise to us with this IDA reform?  She is promising ‘transparency’ and ‘putting the community first’, but let me tell you this: The Long Beach community is not happy about a billion dollar company asking for 20 years of tax cuts on extremely rare beachfront property that’s a stone throw away from the LIRR. Especially since the Long Beach community is potentially about to face extremely high tax increases across the board.

I would love to hear what County Executive Laura Curran has to say about this iStar IDA application. I did vote for  Laura. Her answer will definitely make my decision for the next election.

APRIL 11th, 2018

County Executive Curran Announces Sweeping Reforms to Industrial Development Agency

Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran today announced a series of reforms for the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) that will increase transparency, better measure projects that receive IDA benefits and put community first.

“I look forward to working with the IDA Board – both my new appointees and members already serving – to move the IDA forward with a new mission of transparency,” said Curran. “The bottom line is Nassau County needs to attract and keep businesses to grow the tax base.”

“I’ve always said the IDAs can be a great economic development tool, and we just need to ensure policies and practices are in place that benefit the communities these projects are designed to support,” said Curran.

Curran also announced that she would form a taskforce to explore synergies between the Nassau and Town of Hempstead IDAs in an effort to take a more regional approach to economic development.

“It makes perfect sense to how we can cooperate in a more efficient and substantive way in attracting new business without forgetting the needs of the community,” said Curran.

Curran said amongst the reforms she would recommend to the IDA Board for consideration include:

  • Requiring the IDA to hold quarterly meetings in addition to business sessions and to allow for public comment on all agenda items.
  • Enhance notification of IDA projects, proposals and other business to elected officials impacted by the projects along with greater outreach to interested parties and the general public.
  • Ensure that Nassau IDA Board policies on gifts, campaign contributions, etc. mirror those of senior County officials. This would include disclosure by applicants and their consultants of any political contributions made to county or locally impacted elected officials.
  • Close the so –called “tourism loophole” that has allowed for the granting of tax breaks for storage facilities and car dealerships.
  • Mandate the use of local labor/prevailing wage to the greatest extent possible.
  • Expand the benefits for building transit-oriented developments in Nassau’s downtowns.
  • Clarify and strengthen job creation requirements and establish stringent ‘claw back’ of benefits if job levels aren’t reached.

In addition, Curran said she will also review closely the findings of an audit of the IDA presently being undertaken by the office of Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman, and may recommend additional reforms based on the results of the audit.

“Real reform of the IDA will take the efforts of many,” said Curran. “I am looking forward to working with the IDA Board of Directors and Executive Director to implement these changes.”

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