Residents, lawmakers rally for tax payments from Green Acres Mall
Residents and lawmakers rallied outside the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream Saturday to urge the mall to start paying its share in taxes.
While residents and local lawmakers say that they feel they won a huge battle when the Hempstead Industrial Development Agency revoked the PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes late last month, they say the mall is still leaving residents paying the bill.
"Do the right thing. Put money in escrow so that the tax base isn't destabilized," says Legislator Carrie Solages (D-Valley Stream).
Valley Stream homeowners say they saw their taxes skyrocket after the Hempstead IDA originally granted the tax breaks to the mall. They say others services in the town also saw a price surge.
Leaders of the Valley Stream schools told News 12 that the issue has left them wondering how they are going to craft a budget next year without hurting taxpayers or cutting student programs or positions.
"As of today, we don't know if we are getting PILOTs or if we are getting taxes from the Green Acres Mall, which ultimately affects our tax levy formula," says Superintendent Nicholas Stirling.
Representatives from Green Acres told News 12 in a statement, "The IDA does not have the right to now revoke the agreement unilaterally, particularly after the Board requested and received our latest PILOT payment just a few weeks ago…We have no choice but to consider all legal options."
Legislator Solages told News 12 they are looking to the Hempstead IDA and the county attorney to get the mall property back on the tax rolls. Some county Republicans are hoping the state will help.
In a letter to state lawmakers this week, Republican Legislator William Gaylor says he believes New York must authorize legislation in order to get the mall on the 2017/2018 tax rolls.