The only thing standing in the way of Hartz Mountain Industries’ plan to build a $98 million warehouse in Melville, with tax breaks from Suffolk County, is Hartz Mountain Industries.
In a 5-1 vote last month, the county’s Industrial Development Agency board postponed approval of tax breaks for the project after backlash from three county legislators, a state assemblyman and construction unions about another Hartz project in Melville, Newsday reported.
Hartz is seeking an incentive package valued at $8.5 million, including $5.1 million in property-tax discounts over 15 years for the development across from the Long Island Hilton.
At the other project, at 235 Pinelawn Road, Hartz is using out-of-state contractors to build 1 million square feet of warehouse space, critics allege. That project is receiving $16.8 million in tax breaks over 20 years.
But the IDA has a Long Island First policy that project applicants should purchase goods and services from and provide employment opportunities to Long Island residents.
Hartz told Newsday that it is following the policy and that 96 percent of the company’s spending has gone to local companies, primarily Aurora Contractors. Aurora Contractors added that 75 percent of the work has used Long Island contractors.
[Newsday] — Sasha Jones