MEDIA CONTACT: Randolph Yunker (516) 571-5048
February 23, 2007
TRUMP IGNORES LEVINSON'S REQUEST FOR A MEETING TO NEGOTIATE "PILOT" PAYMENTS FOR WANTAGH SCHOOL AND FIRE DISTRICTS
(Mineola, NY) In an ongoing rebuff to homeowners of the Wantagh School and Fire Districts, billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump continues to ignore Nassau County Board of Assessors Chairman Harvey Levinson’s call for a meeting to discuss a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement for his $40 million dollar private catering facility being built at Jones Beach State Park.
Under the terms of what Chairman Levinson calls a “sweetheart deal” agreed to by officials under the Pataki administration, the privately run catering facility was granted special privileges not afforded to other catering halls throughout the county and will pay no school or fire district property taxes. Because of the way the 40-year lease was negotiated by the former state parks commissioner, the Wantagh School District and the Wantagh Fire District stand to lose approximately $1 million dollars in annual tax revenue.
“While I cannot fault Mr. Trump for his business savvy and his ability to negotiate deals that benefit him financially, I am critical of the fact that he refuses to do the right thing for those families that will wind up paying for the infrastructure that will support his for-profit enterprise that serves no public purpose,” stated Chairman Levinson. “The Pataki administration traded the state’s tax exempt status to a billionaire who is being given a free ride on the back of hardworking taxpayers who struggle to pay their school property taxes.”
To offset the loss of property tax revenue, Chairman Levinson renewed his call for Mr. Trump to meet with him to discuss a voluntary and modest PILOT payment to be made to the Wantagh School and Fire Districts.