Shortly before their regular meeting on December 13 at the middle school, the Herricks Board of Education received word at 5 p.m. that the Bristol Retirement facility near the Long Island Expressway had been denied an extension of their payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement
“Really what they were asking for was a reduction in their taxes and their school taxes, an extension on that,” board vice-president Jim Gounaris said, noting it would have cost the district in excess of $250,000, equating to 2.5 teaching positions this year and going forward. “They’ve always been short in paying the district rightfully what we are owed under the school taxes for the people living there.”
Gounaris went on to say that the board of education “worked feverishly” with Sen. Jack Martins and Nassau Legis. Judi Bosworth to stop the extension “and we received tonight that the Nassau IDA has decided to not even consider this any further and they will be paying their fair share according to the plan going forward.”
Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth noted that the industrial development agency (IDA) was “quite appropriately authorized to give tax breaks to someone starting a new business or expanding a new business,” but “this last proposed deal had no additional rooms, no additional development, no new jobs, it was just to give people a break, which obviously benefits the company because if they have to pay less taxes they can make more profits or increases the value but to us it was totally contrary to the mission of the IDA because it had nothing to do with development.”
The board had supported the construction of the Bristol when it was first proposed since it was creating a property where none had existed as well as the creation of jobs in the community.