LIPA tax challenge could cost Island Park homeowners

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ISLAND PARK -

Island Park residents could see a tax spike of 72 percent if a tax challenge by the local power plant doesn't go their way.

That's about a $3,000 increase per parcel, according to Hempstead town officials. 

"LIPA is trying to pull the plug on its neighbors and slam our community with property taxes, very simply," says Anthony D'Esposito, a town councilman.

LIPA is arguing that the EF Barrett power plant in Island Park is assessed at 20 times more than its fair value.

"Our customers are paying taxes as if there were 20 power plants in Island Park, yet there is only one," LIPA said in a statement. "All 3 million Long Island residents deserve a fair tax bill."

The Island Park School District is also fighting the tax challenge. School officials say a tax increase will further slow the community's recovery from Superstorm Sandy.

"We have about 42 percent of our children who are on free or reduced-price lunch," says Rosmarie Bovino, the superintendent. "Many of those families are there because they have lost a tremendous amount of income since Sandy."

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