Mall tax break comes at Valley Stream residents' expense

Residents will be paying $350 to $750 more, depending on their district.

Residents will be paying $350 to $750 more, depending on their district. (10/7/16)

VALLEY STREAM - Residents in Valley Stream will be stuck with much higher property tax bills due to a large tax break that the Green Acres Mall received from the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency.

The Town of Hempstead IDA recently granted the mall a $14 million tax exemption in the form of PILOTs, or payments in lieu of taxes, which will reduce the amount of local taxable property.

As the taxable property shrinks, so will District 30's funding of the Central High School District budget, and it's likely that taxpayers will have to make up the shortfall.

Residents will be paying $350 to $750 more, depending on their district. Earlier this year, voters approved a school budget that called for a much smaller tax hike.

Valley Stream School Superintendent Edward Fale says they had no input into the IDA's decision.

"It was something that took place that was outside of our control," Fale says. "We were not notified about this."

News 12 spoke with the head of the Hempstead IDA, Fred Parola, by phone. He says the agency approved the tax breaks because the mall owners said in exchange, they would do an expansion project that would create jobs and help boost sales tax revenue. Parola says he believes the benefits would ultimately outweigh the tax consequences to homeowners.

Hempstead town officials are asking the IDA to reconsider its decision.

A public meeting on the issue will be held Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the William Buck School in Valley Stream.

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