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 []

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.”


IDA Hearing Long Beach November 14th 4PM for that small medical building

I was emailed the following letter, which was sent to the Nassau County IDA folks. There is apparently a hearing this Tuesday at 4pm. regarding a Long Beach IDA application. It looks like some folks on Facebook are getting this confused with the iStar Superblock IDA request. This morning I read a Newsday article that says the hearing is for that medical building near NYSC on Park Avenue that got ZBA approval to be renovated into an apartment building [NEWSDAY: Developer seeks tax breaks on apartment project in Long Beach].
Am I missing something? Well, either way. There was no notice about this meeting whatsoever, so this following letter definitely is worthy to sent to the IDA folks at : <> and  <>.

Continue reading “IDA Hearing Long Beach November 14th 4PM for that small medical building”

iStar profit gravy $$$ and an open letter to our city [editorial, opinions, whatever you want to call it]

iStar originally came to the IDA asking for $129 million dollars. They are now down to  $82 million.  As the Newsday editorial [image below] and many have pointed out, what was that $47 million dollars, gravy? How can the City Council be legally beholden to an agreement when the people they agreed with are so obviously trying to game the system. It is impossible to demand that the City Council follow through with that agreement given the way that is has been handled by iStar where they have blatantly shown that all they are after is more profit.

(In the words of Larry David) Having said that….


RE: iStar letter and potential lawsuit

Attention City Council and City Manager: 

It’s time for you to do the right thing. A $105 million dollar lawsuit that we potentially face due do your negligence is something you can clear up by sending the letter that iStar requires, telling them that you gave them permission to go to the IDA. After you do this, us residents will try to clean up your mess.


Long Beach Herald: iStar may seek $87 tax break and may sue City if they don’t get it. [WTF? OPINIONS]

Anthony Rifilato of the Long Beach Herald writes:

“Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford says that the developer looking to build luxury apartments on the Superblock will make a third attempt to secure a tax abatement to move forward with the project — and may sue the city if it is denied again.

Full article: Ford: iStar may seek $87 million tax break

Many moons ago [2014], iStar came in with this project. THEY SAID THEY WERE SHOVEL READY and our city gave them approval to build. There was not one mention of IDA when this all happened.

Shovel ready was complete BS, because they came back a year later looking for a major tax break, that would, in my opinion, ultimately hurt all the residents of Long Beach.

What would be the basis for a lawsuit? The City of Long Beach gave them permission, then kept their mouths shut. We were begging our officials to talk and they wouldn’t. It was the will of the people who were against the IDA, because we don’t want to pay for luxury beachfront units that are on ultra-rare property that’s a hop, skip and jump away from Manhattan.

an oldie, but goodie.

The Long Beach public forum on this topic is  May 9, at 6:30 p.m at City Hall.

iStar Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the “We don’t want to pay our fair share of taxes”

It’s real folks. According to our City, iStar is actually going to give it another shot for a tax break. They say third time is a charm, but I’m sorry, iStar. This just cannot happen. You can send your people to clog up city hall, but the residents of Long Beach have already spoken. We will speak again (assuming there’s some sort of meeting, which I hope there will be.)   Continue reading “iStar Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the “We don’t want to pay our fair share of taxes””

What’s on the IDA agenda? Hmm.. oh, look: VI -Superblock SEQRA Resolution

Today we find out whether or not we experience corporate welfare  in Long Beach for the next 20 years. That’s right, tax breaks for waterfront luxury apartments while all the homeowners in Long Beach suffer massive tax increases as they rebuild their homes. How F***ed up is that? Only an idiot would vote YES for this. 

JULY 28th @5pm 
1550 Franklin Avenue
Mineola, NY 11501



Another letter regarding the iStar / IDA Economic Impact Analysis

May 22, 2016

Nassau County Industrial Development Agency
1550 Franklin Ave., Suite 235
Mineola NY 11501

Dear Chairman Kearney and IDA Members,

Thank you for providing the “Camoin Report”, commissioned to express the economic impact of the Wayfarer project. Upon reading the report, I feel that it omitted critical data that will help decide whether or not to grant the 109 Million dollars in tax relief sought by the developer. It only showed the economic impact of two options, developed or not developed, and nothing in-between. Just because the developer forces an all-or-nothing tactic, doesn’t mean they deserve it. Continue reading “Another letter regarding the iStar / IDA Economic Impact Analysis”

I was asked to post this: Another opinion on the cost/ benefit analysis performed by Camoin

Another letter regarding the iStar/IDA/Cost Benefit Analysis. This one comes from a resident named Neal:

The cost/ benefit analysis performed by Camoin Associates for the Nassau IDA is more remarkable for what it failed to examine than for the metrics and attempt to quantify that it provided. We already knew that all the municipalities would  benefit financially and that some jobs would be created by granting the tax abatement versus the status quo of the current tax assessment on the undeveloped property. But where is scenario 3 in this analysis? What about measuring the proposal versus I Star’s presentation to our zoning board suggesting that this shovel ready, fully capitalized project simply needed a variance for height/ density in order to be financially viable? What about exploring I Star’s profitability argument against the market realities of rock bottom interest rates, the low cost basis for I Star’s acquisition of the property, and the present and projected high demand and strong market for luxury apartments in settings that enable active lifestyles and transit access to NYC? Karl Frey, I Star’s Exective VP told members of our civic associations that IStar was looking for a 5% return on their investment. When asked if IStar would split any overage with Long Beach, he wouldn’t commit.  How much would I Star need to raise its proposed rents on 528 apartments to achieve their target profit margins without applying for the $109M tax abatement ?

This report, even absent a specific recommendation, strikes me as a misdirection play that does nothing to expose the real dynamics of this issue: that I Star is trying to blackmail the City in a zero sum game in which it is either their way or nothing. It utterly misses the point by not exploring the potential of that property or the options the developer has for achieving their profit without taking out a profit insurance policy on the taxpayers dime.

I support the development of the Superblock. However, as a 31 year resident who has been looking forward to the day that real estate values reflect the amazing quality of life that we have here in Long Beach thereby allowing development to drive increasing tax revenues and some degree of tax relief for overburdened taxpayers, I ask my fellow residents to show up on Wednesday to bear witness, to let the IDA know what we know.