Dollars and No Sense - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2115806

Dollars and No Sense

As a retired CPA, it makes my blood boil when Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman tries to explain the alleged property tax benefits to validate his weak arguments about his plans for the Bel-Aire Cove Motel redevelopment.

Exactly how much more in real estate taxes did the average Hampton Bays property owner pay when the Bel-Aire was taken off the tax roll? Wait for it: a whopping $3. Based on tax records, the Bel-Aire was paying $15,000 per year in real estate taxes. Motels are generally taxed at a lower rate than single-family homes.

I suspect most Hampton Bays property owners would be happy to spend $3 per year not to look at the Bel-Aire eyesore.

Exactly how much less will the average Hampton Bays property owner pay if there is a high-density motel or condominium at the Bel-Aire site? Wait for it again: a whopping $10. Condominiums, like motels, are generally taxed at a lower rate than single-family homes. The luxury condominiums at 68 Foster Avenue are paying approximately $3,000 per year, per unit.

Jay seems to ignore that there will be costs, such as ambulance and fire, associated with the development. Where does that money come from? Is there a money tree Jay hasn’t told us about?

I can’t help but wonder about the number of complaints that will be generated from the dwelling or motel units, about the noise and music coming from the Station Bar and Restaurant next door. Is Jay trying to put the local favorite out of business? So much for his goal of economic development and tourism.

Yes, there are costs associated with the property being developed and maintained by the town as a small waterfront park and/or a place to launch kayaks, paddleboards and canoes. But what is the value of waterfront open space and water access for residents and visitors? Some may say priceless.

Supervisor Schneiderman seems to think his plan is the only plan and his voice is the only voice. Let’s see if the other four members of the Town Board have a voice and are actually listening to the growing opposition to Jay’s plan.

I urge everyone to attend the public hearing on Wednesday, March 29, and have your voices heard. The details are on the Town of Southampton town clerk portal.

Gayle Lombardi

Hampton Bays