Town Causes $900K Budget Gap For HUFSD

Filed under: News |

Over the last 10 years, the Town, through member agencies CDA (Community Development Agency) and EDC (Economic Development Corporation) has systematically purchased and removed taxable properties off the tax rolls. At least 14 such residential and commercial properties such as Tilden Brakes and the Rotondo waste site have been purchased, with only one home being resold through the “Take Back the Blocks” program after 7 years.

The Town of Huntington has not done this in any other school district except SD3.

There is also the matter of PILOT, or Payment in Lieu of Taxes. While Whitman Coop pay this and it subsidizes SD3, Highview does not. It’s PILOT goes to the CDA and stays there.

Added to this is the Huntington Housing Authority with 40 units that pays next to nothing in school taxes, and the over abundance of sub standard legal and illegal rentals and accessory apartments, including over 60% of the entire Town’s Section 8 voucher rentals in SD3.

Plus, there is the annual $300,000 loss each year due to tax grievance certiorari’s.

And despite this, curiously, the SD3 school age population is up over 5% in the last 8 years with no new construction, while every other district in Huntington, not to mention Long Island in general, is going down or remaining flat. While Smithtown is closing schools due to low enrollment, we have 25 empty classrooms at Jack Abrams and students overflowing at Woodhull.

Is it any wonder 25% of our district residents choose private school?

All SD 3 homeowners should be asking the Town Board why they have shortchanged SD3 in tax revenue, have told us Avalon Bay will be good for us, and yet has fought off Matinecock Court for over 30 years, 155 low to moderate income housing units in East Northport, to the point of Federal intervention (the Town lost) and continues to fight for Northport/ East Northport schools by fighting the LIPA power plant certiorari, again, with our tax dollars.

Perhaps if the Town paid it’s fair share of taxes as a PILOT on the properties it has purchased in SD3 to the school district, we may not be looking at a $900,000 shortfall?

Matt Harris
Huntington Station and SD3 Resident

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