SYOSSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Perpetual tax break incentives.

That’s what one suburban community charges is being given away to huge corporations as a lure to stay on Long Island.

But some local homeowners say they are left holding big bills and now they are demanding greater scrutiny, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Thursday.

The Long Island Aquarium brings in thousands of visitors. The polluted Grumman site was rehabilitated for studios. Hundreds of Long Island businesses like these are winning tax breaks that go on for decades.

“The large companies are doing well for themselves without the break,” one woman said.

“Why should we pay more taxes for these companies that don’t care about us?” another said.

Homeowners are complaining they must pick up the slack in school and property taxes when industrial development agencies — IDAs — grant tax exemptions to giant companies.

(Photo: CBS2)

“These big corporations that are making billions of dollars, they get the tax break. Where’s our break?” said Charo Ezdrin, president of the Syosset Chamber of Commerce.

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The Syosset School Board just passed a non-binding resolution in blanket opposition to all future tax break extensions for big businesses.

Among them, Nestle Water, which just bought Poland Spring, and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. The beverage companies will avoid almost $20 million in property taxes in Syosset over the next decade.

“People don’t want something for nothing,” one man said.

“You can structure the tax breaks so you don’t affect the little guy at all,” another added.

When asked if he supports it, another man said, “Of course, it brings jobs.”

“We want to keep these big businesses here because they create jobs,” added Richard Kessel, chairman of Nassau IDA.

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Kessel said vetting is the key.

“Scrutinize very carefully all of these pilot payments and tax benefits,” Kessel said.

“I think it’s a balancing act,” a homeowner said.

Balancing job creation and investment in the community and economic development versus growing property, school, and sales tax burdens for residents.

Proponents say the salaried employees of the corporations spend that income locally, thereby easing the tax burden.


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