[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 4-29-2003 by L.L. No. 14-2003 (Ch. 43 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
This Legislature finds and determines that the existence within this state of certain areas characterized by persistent and pervasive poverty, high unemployment, limited job creation, dependence on public assistance income, dilapidated and abandoned industrial and commercial facilities, and a shrinking tax base, the State Legislature has enacted a law known as the "New York State Empire Zones Act." The purpose of this Act is to allow government to target for these areas extraordinary economic and human resource development programs in order to stimulate private investment, private business development and job creation. Under the Act, special incentives and assistance are available that will promote the development of new businesses, the expansion of existing businesses and the development of human resources within areas that are designated by the New York State Commissioner of Economic Development as an "Economic Development Zone," known now as an "Empire Zone."
This Legislature further finds and determines that in 1996, in response to military base closures and realignments and the loss of jobs at defense contractor facilities around the state, the Governor and the State Legislature amended Article 18-B of the New York General Municipal Law to allow for the designation of a new round of economic development zones. Specifically, § 960(v) was amended to allow for the designation of not more than 12 zones, "each of which shall contain a defense or military base or facility which has been designated for closure or realignment or a site currently or formerly owned or operated by either (1) the United States military or (2) a defense contractor whose employment in New York State was adversely affected by a reduction in military spending."
This Legislature further finds and determines that pursuant to Resolution No. 803-1997, this Legislature authorized an application for an Empire Zone, relative to certain land within Suffolk County located at the former Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant in Calverton. The Empire State Development Corporation has recently notified Suffolk County that the original zone and Zone Administration Board designated by the Town of Riverhead were designated incorrectly and that, as a County-designated zone, said zone and the Zone Administration Board must be designated by Suffolk County as the applicant, and that current funding is being delayed due to this inconsistency. It is the intent of this chapter to duly establish the zone and the Zone Administration Board according to the Empire State Development Corporation's requirements to ensure continued state funding of 50% towards administration of the Suffolk County Empire Zone.
The purpose of this chapter is to ratify the designation of an Empire Zone in the County of Suffolk, to establish the Zone Administrative Board and to designate the Zone Certification Officer.
The Empire Zone created pursuant to Resolution No. 803-1997 and the tax exemptions granted therein are hereby ratified and confirmed to be in full force and effect. The boundary of the Empire Zone, as described in this chapter, shall be the boundary designated in and by Resolution No. 803-1997. The exemptions provided for by New York Real Property Tax Law § 485-e which were granted by Resolution No. 803-1997 are deemed incorporated herein and made applicable to the Empire Zone described in this chapter as of the effective date of Resolution No. 803-1997. The exemption from the taxes and special ad valorem levies by the County of Suffolk shall be granted for the period and to the extent provided for in § 485-e of the New York Real Property Tax Law. The exemption shall be for a term of 10 years, notwithstanding that the designation of the zone may expire prior to the end of such ten-year term.
[Amended 6-27-2006 by L.L. No. 38-2006]
Pursuant to § 963(a) of the General Municipal Law, the Riverhead Town Attorney, or designee, shall serve as the Empire Zone Certification Officer and shall perform the following duty: certify, jointly with the New York State Commissioner of Economic Development and the New York State Commissioner of Labor, those businesses that are eligible to receive benefits referred to in § 966 of the New York General Municipal Law, and any other applicable statutes.
Pursuant to Article 18-B of the New York General Municipal Law, an Empire Zone Administrative Board ("Zone Board") is hereby established and shall consist of the following members:
[Amended 4-29-2003 by L.L. No. 15-2003; 12-15-2009 by L.L. No. 40-2009]
County Executive or his designee, who shall serve as Chair;
Educational institution representative;
Local utility representative;
Local business representative;
Organized labor representative;
Community organization representative;
Financial institution representative;
Zone resident of the Town of Riverhead;
Supervisor of the Town of Riverhead, or his designee, who shall serve as Vice Chair;
Director of the Riverhead Community Development Agency;
Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL) representative;
Resident of the Town of Southampton, appointed by the Town of Southampton Supervisor subject to the approval of the Suffolk County Legislature;
Resident of the Town of Babylon, appointed by the Town of Babylon Supervisor subject to the approval of the Suffolk County Legislature;
Resident of the Town of Huntington, appointed by the Town of Huntington Supervisor subject to the approval of the Suffolk County Legislature;
Resident of the Town of Riverhead, appointed by the Town of Riverhead.
All members of the Zone Board shall serve without compensation and shall serve at the pleasure of their respective appointing authorities. The Empire Zone Certification Officer shall not serve as a member of the Zone Board. The Zone Board shall perform all duties required of it pursuant to § 963 of the New York General Municipal Law. The Zone Board shall hold regular meetings and determine the rules of its own proceedings.
Appointments to the Zone Administrative Board shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the memorandum of understanding between the County of Suffolk, Town of Riverhead, Town of Southampton, Town of Babylon, and the Town of Huntington attached hereto and made a part hereof.
[Amended 12-15-2009 by L.L. No. 40-2009]
The Zone Board shall be constituted and hold its first meeting within 60 days of the effective date of this chapter.
Pursuant to Article 18-B of the New York General Municipal Law, the Zone Board as presently constituted is hereby continued. The Zone Board, pursuant to § 963(a) of the New York General Municipal Law, as amended, shall continue to approve, for certification by the Zone Certification Officer, the New York State Commissioner of Economic Development, and the New York State Commissioner of Labor, the applications of those businesses eligible for certification to receive the benefits referred to in § 966 of the New York General Municipal Law, and shall perform all other duties required of it pursuant to § 963(b) of the General Municipal Law.
[Added 6-27-2006 by L.L. No. 38-2006]
The County Executive, or designee, is hereby authorized to execute the memorandum of understanding in substantially the form attached hereto between the County of Suffolk, Town of Riverhead, Town of Southampton, Town of Babylon and the New York State Department of Economic Development, and to execute such documents as are necessary and desirable to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
This chapter shall apply to all actions and taxable status dates occurring on or after the effective date except as otherwise set forth in this chapter.