Hempstead IDA considers tax break for expanding car dealership

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HEMPSTEAD -

A car dealership’s planned expansion and application for a tax break Thursday stirred some heated discussions at Hempstead Town Hall.

Garden City Mazda, which is located inside the Village of Hempstead, is one of three companies that applied for tax breaks with the Hempstead Town Industrial Development Agency.

The dealership is planning a $7 million expansion, but says it needs to freeze its taxes for the next three years. After that, taxes would go up by two percent.

Opponents of the proposal say that essentially means the $7 million expansion would not go on the tax roll.

Hempstead Village Trustee Jeffrey Daniels, who took office in April, says that is simply not fair. He says the village already struggles with high property taxes and high rates of poverty. Daniels claims tax breaks for big businesses are part of the problem.

“A third of the Village's tax roll is off the books. One third. That's one of the highest on Long Island,” Daniels told News 12. “…It really hamstrings what you're able to do and what you're able to provide to your residents.”

An attorney for the dealership says not only will the expansion bring jobs, but each year – five Hempstead High School students will receive apprenticeships there.

The IDA Board decided Thursday not to vote on the issue. It will be considered at next month's meeting.

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