Smithtown Hopes Tax Break Will Spruce Up Business, Vacancies

Town officials hope to join Suffolk County in creating tax break for select business who expand or renovate.

Smithtown Town officials have drawn up plans to join Suffolk County in offering a tax break that would encourage business expansions, renovations and the filling of the area's many vacant properties.

The Suffolk County Industrial/Commercial Incentive Plan provides a tax exemption for businesses who build or make improvements to their property that total at least $50,000. The tax exemption would be based on the assessment of the property's tax value after improvements are complete.

Businesses that take advantage of the plan would still pay existing taxes, but would receive cuts to the additional taxes caused by the improvements.

The plan would include a 50 percent tax exemption for eligible businesses for the first three years after construction. Each year, the businesses gradually pay 5 percent more in taxes until paying the full value of its property taxes after 10 years.

This incentive program has been in place since 1996, but now towns have the ability to propose and map out the areas they wish to be targeted.

Smithtown's proposal creates three types of targeted areas to be offered the incentive plan: commercial areas, work and service industries and industrial areas.

The town is targeting the Smithtown, Kings Park, and St. James business districts and the neighborhood businesses along Smithtown Boulevard in Nesconset and Smithtown for commercial development. That includes much of Smithtown's beleaguered Main Street.

Town officials will encourage retail shops, real estate offices, professional and health care services, hotels and arts and entertainment by offering these tax breaks.

Areas along Route 25 in Smithtown between Route 111 and Terry Road are being proposed for wholesale and service development in efforts to court automotive shops and car dealerships, transportation-related companies, real estate offices, telecommunications services and administrative support companies.

The Hauppauge Industrial Park and small areas of Kings Park are being recommended for industrial development to attract utility companies, manufacturing, scientific and technical services as well as museum, historical sites, zoos and other common attractions.

"Hopefully within the next year the incentive will be in effect and available to people looking to move into town and have their business within town," said Allyson Murray, an engineer for the town's planning department.

The tax incentive proposition was supposed to go before the Suffolk County Legislature by the end of this year, according to Murray, but is not yet scheduled to be discussed at the remaining legislative session. Yet Murray said, despite the delays, she's sure the incentive will be offered.

"It's looking pretty good that it will be adopted early next year," Murray said. 

If Smithtown's proposal is adopted, the tax incentive plan could bring change to many of the vacant buildings and storefront throughout the area towns.

In the past few months, Patch has asked its readers to take a look at these vacant buildings, many within the targeted proposal areas, for their suggestions on what kind of businesses readers would like to see move in.

Take a look at what has been suggested so far:



Kings Park


Candace December 01, 2011 at 08:07 PM
That wil never happen!! Concessions? HA , !! Highest pd teachers in the country are here . I have out of state friends that are teachers .They are amazed . Back to Main St . If people are not willing to shop local, then is will not matter what the tax breaks are . AND us home owners will likely foot the bill with higher town taxes .
Christopher D'Antonio December 02, 2011 at 12:58 AM
Is there a master plan for Smithtown's downtown that calls for sewers, improving pedestrian, cycling, and transit facilities and reorienting shopping center buildings toward the street as opposed to parking lots? It would seem that an expression on behalf of the town board and community would be an essential stepping stone prior to the successful resolution of these vacancies, alongside tax incentives. It is a sort of chicken an egg dilemma, however; should Main Street be developed further to warrant better spatial design, or will development follow the implementation of better spatial design?
Greg Martinez December 02, 2011 at 05:38 AM
Small potatoes & peanuts. Sure, I would vote in favor of the small potatoes & peanuts, but that is all it is. Government at all levels needs to slash and burn spending, cut existing taxes, and substantially reduce regulations. And those geniuses in Washington need to also stop trying to run the private sector, & printing money and throwing it all over the word before our money becomes so-much worthless paper. The private sector sees this government madness and say to themselves it is time to cut back and not even think about expanding.
Candace December 02, 2011 at 04:32 PM
There will be a "walking tour" of Main St on Monday, at 2 PM focusing on road improvements and revitalizing .This is run by Dan Burden,who runs the non-profit "Walkable Communities Inc" funded by AARP . Mark Mancini , an architect and president of the Smithtown Chamber of Commerce , will recommend improvents at 5PM. People interested in participating , should call chamber of commerce at 631-979-8069.
Dr. Remulak January 29, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Government is always in the business of picking and choosing winners (and losers) through selective and targeted tax breaks and incentives. Not only does this introduce distortions into the marketplace, it puts more power and control into government hands, breeding ever more corruption. I have a novel idea: how about lower taxes for all, and let the marketplace decide which businesses should succeed.


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