Guest Column

Clarification of Yorktown's 485B Tax Incentive Program

On Feb. 21, the town board passed the local law enacting the 485-B Tax Incentive Program. After reading a letter in the editor by Mr. Melvyn Tanzman, I see that he has quite a lot of confusion in not only the law, but also the process of how government works.

I would like to address the process and the law for clarification. As Mr. Tanzman just started to attend meetings on a regular basis this year, I do not think he realizes how long the tax incentive program has been before the town board and how the law has been researched and vetted.

I will start by addressing how long the program has been before the public. I, along with my running mates, made a promise to make Yorktown a destination for businesses as well as incentivizing current businesses to make improvements on their properties. On April 5, the Town Board, after a public hearing, enacted a local law that formed the Industrial Commercial Incentive Board (ICIB). During the public hearing, the citizens had an opportunity to be heard on the law. In fact, several people appeared at the public hearing and expressed comments as well as support for the ICIB. Mr. Tanzman did not attend the public hearing and did not submit comments to the town board on the ICIB. All of the town board members saw the benefit of this board and it passed unanimously.

Sign Up for E-News

The next issue to address regards the choosing of the ICIB members. Mr. Tanzman was under the impression that the supervisor and the town attorney selected the members of the ICIB. Actually, the members that were chosen for the ICIB came from a pool of applicants with business experience. The entire town board interviewed all of the applicants and then the board voted on the members. While we had originally slated for five members, in order to have the widest variety of experienced business people the town board chose to add an alternate sixth member, Bob Giordano. Even the decision to add the extra member was voted on. All of the votes were unanimous.

The first public meeting of the ICIB was in mid-2016. The ICIB met monthly thereafter in Room 209 in the YCCC. Each meeting was an open meeting and advertised on the town’s website and Mr. Tanzman was free to attend each meeting to listen to the discussion of the ICIB, which he did not.

During its meetings, the ICIB met with town board members, the assessor as well as the planning department members. The ICIB wrestled with the parameters of the incentive as well as conducting research on other towns in New York State that currently offers the incentive. Our town attorney, Michael McDermott, to insure that they fit the parameters of the state legislation, acted as counsel to the ICIB and assisted the members with their mission. One of the issues vetted that Mr. Tanzman brings up was whether or not to exclude the larger national companies. The decision was discussed with vigor in the ICIB meetings and the recommendation was not to be exclusive of anyone that could bring much needed jobs to our town. Finally, in January 2017, the ICIB issued its final report to the town board, which made recommendations on the enactment of the incentive program.

The final issue I would like to address is the politicizing of an issue for personal gain. I believe that Mr. Tanzman, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for supervisor this year, showed us his true motivation by saying “It was quite evident that the four Republican members of the board had already determined to vote in favor and no contrary evidence or views would be considered.” He then called the public hearing a “sham.” I would normally strike this up to a person’s lack of understanding of the procedures except for the fact that all five members of the town board voted in favor of it, including Councilman Patel, a Democrat. If Mr. Tanzman had waited until the end of the meeting before going home, he could have asked the question about procedure that another citizen had asked. The answer entailed all I spoke about above and how that after a year of discussion, if there is no new information brought to the town board, it is the time to vote. Our taxpayers deserve decisions and not roadblocks.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Cuomo Shores Up His Left Flank (at Our Expense)

We keep hearing how the Republicans are bought and paid for by the NRA. I recently explained to you the truth about this myth. The reality is the Democrats are the ones who are bought and paid for. Not by the NRA, but the environmentalists.

You thought I was going to say public sector unions, didn’t you? Well, they own both parties in New York. However, the environmentalists pull the ...

Appreciating Two Amazing Role Models

As difficult as this winter has been with the power outages and stormy weather, it pales in comparison to my overwhelming sense of dread as I prepared for the 20th anniversary of my mother’s passing on March 20. On that day, I know my mind will inevitably flash back to her last painful hours, when she valiantly struggled just to stay alive. Yet, I’m equally certain I will remember the ...

To Harrison, L'Chaim!

At long last, the smile of spring approaches, as an angry winter recedes into good riddance. Our spirit is ready to be re-charged. Damn the power outages, full speed ahead!

For my wife, Elyse, daughter, Elissa, and me, this otherwise exuberant time of year brings a confusion of mixed emotions. In 2003, on the opening day of spring, March 20, which happens to be my birthday, our 15-year-old son ...

Storm Aftermath and Update

March 22, 2018

During my travels throughout the storm and its aftermath, I had the opportunity of seeing firsthand how hard our town employees worked on behalf of the residents of Yorktown, whether riding with the Highway Department while they were plowing the roads, assisting at the YCCC warming facility, working with the staff at the Town Emergency Operations Center, bringing food to residents at Beaver Ridge ...

A Half-Baked Column

“I think it’s time we retired this oven,” I said to my husband as I displayed a sheet of blackened sweet potato fries. “Even the dog won’t eat these.”

“Sure he will,” he said, tossing some fries on the floor. The dog immediately sucked them down.

“Not my point,” I said.

We had known that our oven was on its last burners for ...

Read Across America With Dr. Seuss

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’m a school librarian and I wanted to remind your readers that March 2 was “Read Across America Day.”  Teachers, librarians and others who read with children encourage schools, libraries and parents to celebrate this day with their children. This special date was chosen because it is the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the adored children’s author. That ...

Thanks for All You Do

March 22, 2018

To the editor,

I am writing to tell you how much we enjoy receiving the weekly Yorktown News. It is a consistent source of local news, new business, opinions and sports.

We recently had no power for seven days due to the storms, and regularly monitored Yorktown News’ Twitter page for town updates. Your team demonstrated its dedication by issuing an edition despite the lack of power ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

OAC Steamer Co. Firehouse, Ossining

2018 Living Art Event

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sat, March 24, 12:00 PM

Club Fit, Jefferson Valley

Yoga for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Seton Holds First Social Fundraiser

March 14, 2018

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton school, 1375 East Main St., Shrub Oak will be hosting it's first ever Social Fundraiser on Friday, May 4th, 2018 in the Seton school gym.  Seton extends it's invitation to all to join in a night of food, fun, and dozens of raffles and silent auctions.  Entry tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets purchased by April 6th will be $35 per person; ...