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Lawrence School District opposes JFK PILOT

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Repeating its opposition to a Raymour & Flanigan warehouse receiving a 10-year PILOT plan from the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency, the Lawrence School District Board of Education voted on Feb. 3 to oppose the 20-year plan requested by JFK Logistics Center LLC.

Board President Murray Forman said that the payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) could cost the district millions in revenue through the life of the plan. “We ask district counsel to object to the proposed PILOT for the JFK Logistics Center,” Forman said, “and to take all action necessary, including commencement of litigation.”

District officials said, the JFK Logistics PILOT could cost its taxpayers at least $1.5 million annually and possibly result in a property tax increase. PILOTS are incentives used to attract or maintain businesses that are anticipated to draw economic development and jobs.

Lawrence sued the town’s IDA over a 10-year PILOT plan for a Raymour & Flanigan warehouse in 2017. The district lost, but is appealing.

Frederick Parola, executive director and CEO of the IDA, disagreed with the district on the JFK Logistics plan. “But for the IDA incentives there would not be a project,” he said previously. Payments begin at 1.5  percent and incrementally increase through the life of the PILOT.

The plans call for constructing a three-story, 235,234-square-foot building on a 10.71 acre parcel at 253-51 Rockaway Blvd. in Woodmere, by Manhattan-based real estate company Wildflower LTD. Warehouse and office space, and self-storage uses are planned.