The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency has granted another 10 years in tax breaks to keep the NPD Group in Port Washington.
“They had a 10-year PILOT which is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31,” said Joseph J. Kearney, the executive director of the Nassau IDA, referring to an agreement for payments in lieu of taxes. “In order to renovate their building and commit to maintaining their jobs, and to add jobs, they asked the IDA to basically extend that PILOT for another 10 years.”
The NPD Group, a market research firm with headquarters at 900 West Shore Road, employs more than 1,000 people at 27 offices around the globe. More than half of those employees are based in Port Washington — currently 623 — and Kearney said the company pledged to hire another 11 workers should the tax exemption be granted.
“They had the ability and said they could move [the jobs] to other facilities that they had outside the state,” he said.
The new agreement, which begins on Jan. 1, freezes the property tax rate for three years before increases of 0.73 percent each year for the next seven years, Kearney said. According to analysis in the IDA application, the NPD Group would pay $640,846 in lieu of taxes each year of the first three years, which would increase to $674,319 by 2028.
According to the NPD Group application, the company paid $832,740 in 2018 as part of its current PILOT agreement but said that the taxes based on the property’s assessed value would be only $640,000. A company attorney told Newsday that the deal was trying to return the payments to “the right level.”
As part of the agreement, the NPD Group will begin a $19.67 million project that will renovate its Port Washington headquarters and update the information technology equipment, according to the NPD Group’s application submitted to the IDA in May.
The IDA approved a sales tax exemption of up to $1.7 million for the purchase of equipment and materials for the renovation, Kearney confirmed.
In the application submitted to the IDA, NPD Group CFO Thomas A. Lynch made several threats to leave Nassau should the tax breaks not be approved.
“Without such benefits, NPD would look to expand one of its existing facilities outside of New York state, either domestically or internationally, where the construction costs and the expense of operating the facility would be significantly less than in Nassau County,” he wrote.
But not everyone was thrilled about the exemption.
According to Michael Raniere, the attorney for the Roslyn School District, the tax exemptions would cost the district $200,000, “which will have to be borne by the other taxpayers,” he told Newsday.
Although the headquarters is located in Port Washington, Roslyn was the only school district listed on the NPD Group’s application.
But Kearney said the high salaries paid by the NPD Group — the average salary ranges from $67,458 for administrative workers to $180,517 for management — justifies the tax exemptions to keep the jobs in Nassau.
“It’s a lot of money,” he said.
Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at [email protected], by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance