As a result of the expected revenue from a Suffolk OTB casino being developed in the Marriott Hotel, a $4.4 million budget for 2017 has been proposed by Islandia officials.
According to Islandia Mayor Allan Dorman, who spoke at a public hearing on Tuesday evening regarding the upcoming budget, the proposed budget that will reduce taxes by 25 percent this year is also expected to cut taxes by another 25 percent in 2018. The anticipated tax cuts are expected to save the average household about $200 towards the village portion of taxes, as reported by Newsday. The proposed budget for 2017 will be 1.21 per $100, as opposed to the estimated tax rate for 2016 which was 1.62 per $100 of assessed value.
The budget proposal for the New Year would increase the current $3.2 million budget and include the purchase of new vehicles for the village, said the village’s treasurer Felix Wienclaw. Expected for the proposed budget, approximately $1.5 million would come from property tax revenue, with the other $2.9 million raised through fines and other revenue streams including state aid, permits, and $2 million in assessments on the new casino, according to the report.
On August 12 the village board approved the application for a special use permit allowing 1,000 video lottery terminals (VLT) as an accessory use to the hotel located near exit 58 on the Long Island Expressway. The casino is being developed for Suffolk County Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. by Delaware North, a global food service and hospitality company headquartered in Buffalo, which completed its acquisition of the hotel in August. The company is planning to lease space inside the property to Suffolk OTB and expects that the facility will be open for business by the year’s end.
Proponents of the casino say that the revenues from the slots operation would create jobs and lower taxes. Under a $47 million “taxpayer relief agreement” for the next 20 years the village will receive $2.35 million in revenue from Delaware North. The company has also agreed to a one-time payment of $1.53 million to go towards improvements to First Responders Recreation Baseball Field, which is owned by the village.
Opponents say the casino would increase traffic and crime and lower property values and have filed a lawsuit, which names the Village of Islandia and Delaware North, and seeks to nullify the August vote. The claim made by the plaintiffs comprised of a coalition of Islandia, New York residents and civic groups from Hauppauge and Ronkonkoma is that the impromptu vote is invalid because the village failed to request traffic impact studies from the state, county, and Islip Township officials.
A vote on the budget is scheduled on November 29 during the board’s work session at village hall.