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MEDIA CONTACT:  Randolph Yunker  (516) 571-5048
October 1, 2007


Over 160 homeowners from Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick and Freeport joined Mr. Levinson and Legislator David Denenberg at Jones Beach to urge the state to provide a PILOT to the Wantagh school and fire districts.

(Mineola, NY) Nassau County Board of Assessors Chairman Harvey Levinson will conduct a public awareness forum for Wantagh homeowners and Nassau County residents who oppose the commercialization of Jones Beach, regarding the controversial Trump on the Ocean catering facility, at the Jones Beach State Park Boardwalk Bandshell on Saturday, October 13 at noon.

Immediately after learning that billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump was granted the exclusive rights to build and operate a $40-million dollar for-profit catering facility at Jones Beach State Park by the former New York State Parks Commissioner and Governor Pataki last September, Chairman Levinson began a year-long battle to secure a payment-in-lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement from Mr. Trump and the state.

“It is outrageous that a private catering facility was granted exclusive operating rights on public land without paying any property taxes or PILOT payments to the Wantagh School District and the Wantagh Fire District,” stated Chairman Levinson.  “Though one could argue whether or not Trump benefited from the terms of a graduated lease fee schedule and limited annual flat fee of $200,000, I believe that no one from the state who negotiated the agreement ever considered the school district or the fire district that would have to provide emergency services to the 1,400-seat facility.”

The October 13 forum is a follow-up to Mr. Levinson’s June public meeting at Wantagh High School that was attended by over 450 homeowners.  

“While I continue to hope that Mr. Trump will do the right thing and agree to a voluntary payment, I am encouraged and applaud the efforts of Senator Charles Fuschillo who has assured me that he will continue to do everything in his power to help secure PILOT payments for the districts,” concluded Chairman Levinson.  “In the meantime, I urge homeowners to contact state officials and demand that the inequities of Trump’s sweetheart deal be corrected and the state’s policy of granting full property tax exemptions to for-profit businesses operating on public land be stopped.”

Legislator Denenberg expressed his support of
Mr. Levinson’s efforts.

Chairman Levinson would like you to be aware that the New York State Office of Parks has declined to waive its $6 dollar per car park entry fee to homeowners who attend the public forum.

The Bandshell is located 500 feet west of the Center Mall flagpole on the Boardwalk south of Parking Field 4.