Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) and Assemblyman Steven Englebright (4th Assembly District) joined together to announce the signing of landmark legislation to protect the rights of local property taxpayers. The newly signed law will provide approximately $210,000 in state tax payments annually to the Three Village and Smithtown school districts to replace the lost tax revenue resulting from the Stony Brook University's acquisition of the Gyrodyne property.
Since state entities, such as the state university, are exempt from real property taxes, the acquisition of the 246 acre property effectively removed a significant parcel of land from the tax rolls of the two school districts. This loss of taxable property would have resulted in an unfair shift of the tax burden to property taxpayers in the Three Village and Smithtown school districts.
The newly signed law, which is effective immediately, will continue the tax payments on this land by requiring the state to cover this cost. This will ensure that the schools are protected from any loss of revenue. The new law would only cover the school portion of the taxes owed on the property.
For residents of the Smithtown School District, this would mean property tax relief of approximately $84,000.
For residents of the Three Village School District, the legislation would provide protection of approximately $125,000 in property tax relief.
These tax payments are permanent and will be payable annually.
"It is gratifying to have helped guide into law this vital legislative relief for local taxpayers and school districts. Although it is rare for such bold new state policy to be established it was worth the effort, for to have failed to do so would have both allowed a tax injustice to stand and reversed the hard earned perception that the state can be a good neighbor," said Assemblyman Englebright. "This new law also means that SUNY at Stony Brook - Long Island's largest employer - can continue to grow new jobs for our entire region without imposing an unfair property tax penalty upon just those citizens who happen to live in neighboring school districts."
"This change will make sure that the taxpayers in the Smithtown and Three Village School District are protected from assuming the loss of tax payments from the Gyrodyne property and that is the right approach. The property tax burden is too high now and the residents of both of these school districts should be assisted by the state in any way possible," stated Senator Flanagan. "I applaud the Governor for signing this new law."