Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Referendum Language is Set - Including A Good Step


EDITED because I did a stupid thing and didn't notice that the original number I used was a Net Present Value calculator.

EDIT AGAIN: There is no lockbox.....so the whole crux of this is that there should be a lockbox.  I am very sorry for mis-reading the language of the referendum and am incredibly embarrassed.

Some interesting news came out yesterday, as the clerk of the legislature has received the full text of the areener referendum.

On the whole, the referendum, is fairly standard stuff, but it does include something that I'd been hoping for: it creates a dedicated fund that will be used to collect revenue-sharing payments and pay the debt service, estimated at around $26 million a year for both the areener and the minor league baseball stadium (we also had news on that, as Long Island Ducks owner Frank Boulton was selected to bring an Atlantic League franchise to the new complex - quick, someone copyright "Expressway Series!").  

This was the amendment suggested by Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) at the May 31 legislature hearing that approved the election date, but it was tabled for being out of order (not submitted before the deadline for that session).  It's the only thing that makes sense for the referendum, and it provides maximum protection for taxpayers.

I don't want to get too wound up here, but moving the revenues from the areener into the Nassau County general fund would have been nothing short of disastrous.  Had the money been available, it would have suffered the same fate as Social Security: the money would have been spent 10 different times every year for different programs, leaving the debt service unpaid and increasing tax burdens on citizens.  It would have created far more problems than it solved.  Actually creating a separate fund would serve as, if I may, a lockbox, to protect the money from being raided and make 2000 Al Gore very happy:


While this is a good move, I still have one big question about its application.  As of right now, it's unclear if tax revenues from the areener and any future development on the Coliseum site would also be included in this "lockbox," and that could end up being a huge issue.

As you may or may not know, the Town of Hempstead, which has not suffered for murdering the Lighthouse Project in any way shape or form, recently approved The Shire (the gutted zone) for development, all the while still pushing the ridiculous lie that the actual reduction was not that great (if you include parking structures in the "new construction" total, which the Lighthouse did not).  Let's ignore the fact that it took them a year to approve their own idea and concentrate on the fact that this opens the door for additional development on the Coliseum site, and this could end up being huge for the referendum through additional tax revenue.

EDIT:

I've been reading the 2006 report commissioned by the Nassau Legislature for the Lighthouse Project.  Before anything else, I highly recommend you don't read the report, because it will make you very angry with Kate Murray for doing what she did.  The Lighthouse Project at its peak was projected to bring in north of $62 million in direct tax revenues for Nassau County EVERY YEAR.  That's a long way toward closing the deficit, eh?

Let's leave that bit of misery for a minute and concentrate on the numbers.  We know the Town's zone is nowhere near the size and scale of the Lighthouse, but it will still generate tax revenue.  In fact, let's slash those projections by 80% (the rumored reduction is 61%, but it's unclear what effect this has on the tax base of the area, so I've chosen to be more conservative).  The remaining number is still $12.5 million, which, if added to the minimum payment from Charles Wang, produces....

$26.5 Million


Enough to pay the debt service, run a surplus on the property, and not have to pass any additional tax burden onto Nassau County homeowners.  For this reason, I hope future development is included in the "lockbox," because it will be the best chance Nassau residents have to not pay for it.

Blogger's Note: I got a mailer from Legis. Denenberg yesterday, and it included the claim that the new tax line would be a guaranteed $58 per year expense to all taxpayers.  We've disproved this over and over again, and I hope the legislator misspoke and intends to correct this.  $58 is the expense incurred per household per year if Charles Wang never makes any payments and the arena never makes any money, so to suggest it's a guaranteed tax is disingenuous at best.


Second Blogger's Note: Stay tuned the next few days for more news and analysis, in addition to an endorsement on the areener vote, a guide to get involved, and my plan for election day.  As always, thanks for reading.



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9 comments:

  1. Blogger's Note: I got a mailer from Legis. Denenberg yesterday, and it included the claim that the new tax line would be a guaranteed $58 per year expense to all taxpayers. We've disproved this over and over again, and I hope the legislator misspoke and intends to correct this. $58 is the expense incurred per household per year if Charles Wang never makes any payments and the arena never makes any money, so to suggest it's a guaranteed tax is disingenuous at best.


    What else was in this mailer, Nick? I mean, at this stage of the game, with Denenberg supposedly the ONLY Democrat on our side, what does it mean if he's getting the facts wrong? Or, even worse, if he's doing it on purpose?

    -Big Van Vader

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  2. BVV - it was a note about the info sessions, but it included the claim that it was creating a new tax line of $58 a year to pay for a new arena and minor league baseball stadium.

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  3. Patrick aka sign guyJuly 12, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    As always Nick you have such good information on this important vote that will determine the future of not only the NY Islanders as well as Nassau County. What are your thoughts and true feeling on how this will play out at the end of the day August 8/1/11

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  5. I don't need to read the report to be angry at kate murray. My hatred towards her and TOH is unrelenting. I think if I did read the report though, I'd probably end up trying to track down the home addresses of her and everyone she knows. And some other things that I will not type since it could be used against me in a court of law.

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  6. It seems like every article Ive read about this says that tax payers will pay $58 per year...Why doesn't Wangano come out against this???Then again...Nobody can trust Mangano anymore, thats not a good thing either.

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  7. Nick great coverage on the referendum. Someone suggested that $58 is based on an average or a median home value of 450000

    http://www.theschwartzreport.com/vb/showthread.php?t=20051&page=93

    Do you know anything about this ?

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  8. Patrick aka sign guyJuly 14, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Well Nick, we would all like to hear your opinion concerning latest Newsday reporting on the events leading up to 8/1/11. Seems be somewhat of a War of words by many different sides. Now is the time to shine with only 18 days left!! We all respect your opinon and really want to hear from you.

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  9. This isnt good...Nick, now what???

    http://www.islanderspointblank.com/2011/07/nifa-makes-no-official-comment-on-proposaldoes-fact-sheet-says-otherwise/

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