An industrial development agency in Elmont, Nassau County on Long Island, unanimously agreed to give a prospective self storage facility a sales tax exemption. The exemption consists of $258,750 and $20,475 off the mortgage recording tax. Also, the property tax bill will be frozen for three years. After that, it will slightly increase over the next 12 years.
The proposed facility will be in Elmont located on Linden Boulevard. It will have 116,000 square feet of space and will be three stories high. The estimated cost of the project is $10.4 million.
Critics were not happy with the tax break that the business will be getting. They feel that the valuable tax incentive should be reserved for companies who have a large employee base. (The new facility will have four full-time employees that would earn between $40,000 and $50,000 without benefits.)
Daniel Baker, an attorney for the developer indicated that this developer was the only person interested in the property. People consider the area ‘blight’ so nobody was interested in building there. He also indicated that there was an unmet need for self storage facilities in the area.
Elmont is in the northwest corner of Nassau County. It borders the borough of Queens in New York City. It is considered a suburban bedroom community on Long Island.
The population in Nassau County is over 1.3 million people. That breaks down to about 4,655 people per square mile. These statistics indicate that there is substantial base for a self storage facility.
Baker also indicated that the developer couldn’t afford to build his self storage facility unless he got the tax breaks. This is a ‘scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back’ situation. If the developer gets the tax break, he can build his facility. His back is scratched. This will remove the blight from the community so the community’s back is scratched.
Joseph Kearney, the industrial development agency director, said that this project would generate $3.5 million in taxes over 15 years. If the land sat vacant, Elmont would not get any of those tax monies.
Critics expressed concern about how the company (who is getting 15 years of tax subsidies) will give back to the community. Those critics need to be informed about all of the humanitarian projects that self storage businesses do to help out their local communities – from collecting winter wear for the indigent to supporting Toys for Tots to raising monies for hospitals and medical research.
In 1650, Christopher and Thomas Foster purchased a large plot of land controlled by Dutch settlers with the intention of raising cattle and sheep. They named this place “Foster’s Meadow” — a name which would remain for the next 200 years of the village’s history. Control of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam shifted to England in 1664, marking the first gradual cultural shift in Foster’s Meadow with the establishment of a community of predominantly English,Protestant farmers and their families. In 1683, Long Island was divided into three counties, Kings, Queens and Suffolk Counties; under this new structure, Foster’s Meadow was part of Queens County. The current boundaries of Elmont were decided upon in 1898; at this point, Nassau County was erected, leading to conflict over land and monies owed as a result of Elmont’s boundary shift from Queens. It was during the mid-19th century that Foster’s Meadow experienced its second cultural shift, with the influx of farmers from Brooklyn and Middle Village to the west. These groups were largely of German descent and practiced Catholicism. Indeed the Catholic population in Foster’s Meadow grew to the extent that St. Boniface Church was built in 1852, providing a focal point for the gradual development of a Catholic population base.
The community underwent its next political reshuffling in 1882, being subdivided into districts with unique names and boundaries (including Alden Manor and Locustwood); it was at this time that Foster’s Meadow was renamed Elmont. Arguably the most significant milestone in the development of modern-day Elmont was the building of the Belmont Racetrack in 1905. In this year, 620 acres (2.5 km2) were purchased on the edge of the region and by 1915, the Racetrack was opened to the public, attracting both visitors and migrant workers to the area. Housing developments and businesses grew in the area surrounding the racetrack to meet the needs of these workers; this process of development to meet the workers’ needs continued in successive waves, ultimately representing a shift in Elmont from rural farmland to suburbia.
With the opening of Belmont Racetrack in 1905, Elmont reached a turning point in its history. The farms were sold and subdivided for houses, most of them owned by people who worked at Belmont Racetrack. Many business were formed onHempstead Turnpike to support the blooming suburban location. The first air race in the United States was held at Belmont Racetrack, including a race from Elmont to the Statue of Liberty and back.
The first intercity airmail service between New York and Washington, D.C. in 1918 used Belmont Park in Elmont as the terminal for New York.
Post-World War II saw widespread development of attractive suburban tract homes. Many of these homes were constructed with a brick-veneer ground story over basement in variations of the cape style to the south and east of Hempstead Turnpike, while older, smaller shingled homes cluster near the racetrack.