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Jan 21, 2015 11:00 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Tax Revenue Projections Differ On Hampton Bays Project

Jan 21, 2015 12:46 PM

The Southampton Town tax assessor is predicting that the Canoe Place Inn maritime planned development district, once it is fully developed, will generate about $50,000 less in annual tax revenue compared to what the project’s developers had previously estimated.

In their final environmental impact report, developers Gregg and Mitchell Rechler projected that their 37 canalfront townhouses, and a fully renovated Canoe Place Inn and catering facility, would generate $807,398 in annual tax revenue for the hamlet of Hampton Bays. Currently, the two properties that span both sides of the Shinnecock Canal generate just $180,249 in taxes annually, according to town records.

But Southampton Town Tax Assessor Lisa Goree said the predictions footed by Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, the Melville firm hired by the Rechlers to conduct a fiscal and economic impact analysis of the project, are slightly higher than her own projection, which comes in at approximately $757,000 per annum.

Ms. Goree explained that she had not seen the details of the proposed maritime planned development district, or MPDD, prior to the Town Board approving it last week. The plan calls for 37 townhouses along the eastern bank of the canal and the complete renovation of the Canoe Place Inn that includes a restaurant and catering facility.

Ms. Goree said she calculated her assessment based on the going rate for similar properties in the municipality. Both parties drew from town data on the existing properties and their assessments, as well as previous tax levies.

“This is all preliminary,” Ms. Goree said of her assessment. “This estimated assessment won’t be applied until the completion of the project. As it’s constructed, it will be updated.”

Using the going rate for similar townhouses in the municipality, Ms. Goree calculated the canalside residential development would have a value of $36 million, while Nelson, Pope and Voorhis projected a value of $41.2 million for the townhouses.

Ms. Goree also predicted a total assessment of $44.6 million for both projects, compared to the $53.7 million projected by Nelson, Pope & Voorhis.

Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, however, also drew from Suffolk County, the New York State comptroller and various other state and federal agencies when compiling their report, which included other economic impacts of the MPDD, including job creation.

It’s not clear when ground will be broken on the townhouses and Canoe Place Inn, or how long construction will take. Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst has stated that the Rechlers will be required to work on both projects—the renovation of the Canoe Place Inn and the townhouse development—at the same time.

Jim Morgo, a spokesman for the Rechlers, said the entire project will cost between $50 million and $60 million.

While tax revenues are predicted to increase for all the taxing districts within Hampton Bays, the largest impact will be on the school district. In their assessment, the developers projected that the Hampton Bays School District will receive $618,348 in annual taxes from the project; Ms. Goree projects that the figure will be closer to about $586,000.

This past year, the school district collected $43 million in taxes to fund its $48.2 million budget. Based on the two projects, the MPDD is expected to account for between 1.36 percent and 1.44 percent of the total taxes collected by the district. In comparison, the two vacant properties have contributed less than $140,000 to the district annually.

The additional tax revenue for the school district, once it starts coming in, should eventually result in other taxpayers paying less to fund education, according to Hampton Bays School District Business Administrator Larry Luce. Still, he added that it is too early to project what those savings could eventually be.

“I do not calculate tax rate—that is the town’s job, and I stay away from it,” Mr. Luce wrote in an email. “I am sure they are much better at estimating impact than I.”

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And so it begins - reality.
By blpierce (5), hampton bays on Jan 22, 15 2:25 PM
What were the tax revenues before the Rechlers closed the businesses that were along the canal?
By blpierce (5), hampton bays on Jan 22, 15 2:27 PM
If the new construction results in a net increase of $627K in tax revenue and there are more than 31 kids added to the school system by the out of zoning development of these properties there will be a school tax incresse due to the Town Boards disregard for the zoning code. Be careful what you wish for Hampton Bays - You might get it. Enjoy your new tax bill.
By bird (829), Southampton on Jan 24, 15 10:13 PM