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Full Legislature Approves Assemblyman Zebrowski “Dark Store” Legislation to Protect Taxpayers

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NEW CITY, NY – Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-Rockland) and Senator James Gaughran (D-Long Island) announced their “dark store” bill that establishes clear and unambiguous guidelines for assessors to utilize when formulating assessments has passed the Legislature (A894C/S5715A).

The Zebrowski/Gaughran bill is in response to the proliferation of the use of the “dark store” strategy by businesses, particularly big box retailers in New York State. Commercial property owners challenge their tax assessment by using vacant stores or properties as comparable values; arguing that their value should be aligned with properties that are not in use. This approach has succeeded in several court challenges throughout the State, resulting in a sharp reduction in tax assessments for big box retailers; shifting the tax burden to homeowners and small businesses.

The legislation would require that properties selected as comparable properties for an assessment must be similar in use, size, location and other characteristics. These standards are currently used by assessors in formulating assessments and by placing in law, will provide guidance for courts evaluating competing assessments.

“When big corporations skirt their taxes through high paid attorneys, homeowners and small businesses foot the bill. The dark store theory threatens our tax base by allowing big businesses to exploit the assessment challenge process by comparing the current use of a business to vacant properties. The argument that vibrant businesses should be valued as if they are closed is incomprehensible. Our legislation puts into law guidelines and standards by which assessments should be based; providing courts with common sense direction in valuing properties,” said Assemblyman Zebrowski.

“This legislation will provide clear guidance to assessors using the comparable sales, income capitalization or cost method to address current ambiguity in State law. I thank my partner Assemblyman Zebrowski for working together with me on this important issue,” said Senator Gaughran.

“Assemblyman Zebrowski, Senator Gaughran, their staff, and key NYSAA members met numerous times to discuss the legislation and its impact on commercial properties throughout the state. This was a team effort, and I want to thank Senator Gaughran and Assemblyman Zebrowski for sponsoring this important bill and seeing it through both chambers,” said New York State Assessors Association (NYSAA) President Lloyd Tasch, IAO.

If signed into law, the bill would take effect immediately and apply to assessment rolls prepared on and after January 1, 2022.

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Norcina in New City Recipient of NYS Empire Award

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NEW CITY, NY – As Covid-19 hit Rockland County, many people wanted to help but didn’t know how. Rockland native Eddie Stapleton, who now resides in North Carolina contacted Norcina’s on how to help small business and people assisting the community he grew up in. He purchased and donated 10 large pies, to a place of their choice, which Norcina in turn matched w/ 10 more pies. 20 fresh pies were just delivered to Good Sam Hospital in Suffern. (Pictured below are the Cardiovascular Operating Room crew at Good Samaritan Hospital Suffern, NY with Norcina Owners Milan Dobrilovic and Nick Nuccio – top photo)

In just 26 days the Norcina Pizza Match would donate over 1,000 pizza pies to Rockland County medical professionals and first responders battling the COVID-19 epidemic.

How it worked: Norcina would match any donation an individual or organization makes to any hospital, first responders, or medical professionals who are actively fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Norcina would end up starting a trend locally that inspired other businesses to honor the same deal. Not only did it support small businesses but it provided residents with the ability to show their support to our first responders and medical professionals.

The New York State Empire Award was presented by Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick. It honors businesses that make major contributions to public service, and enhancing the quality of life for New Yorkers.

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Slime World Announces Newest Location at Palisades Center

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WEST NYACK, NY – Slime World, the premier craft studio where kids can make their own slime, will open its newest location at Palisades Center this November. Palisades Center’s 2,300 sq. ft. Slime World studio will be located on Level Three next to the Build-A-Bear Workshop.

The sticky and gooey feel of slime has appealed to kids since the late 1970s. The popularity grew with the rise of YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok where millions of do-it-yourself slime videos highlight recipes with a wide array of captivating colors and satisfying textures.

Slime World takes the messy out of slime making. The studio space is designed for sticky fingers and messy projects where children can unleash their creativity, play, and express themselves in a stimulating environment.

“At Slime World, we know there is nothing that children love more than some messy fun, and we happen to be the pros,” said Sandeep Shah, Owner of Slime World. “Our mission is to bring smiles to kids while engaging their creative minds! We invite our little guests to come for a one-on-one experience and parents to host the next party with us to create unforgettable memories for their children and all their friends!”

“The Slime World studio is a perfect destination for Palisades Center’s youngest guests,” said Darrin Houseman, General Manager of Palisades Center. “We can’t wait to see them having a blast while they customize their own slime creations.”

The only other Slime World studio is in Freehold, New Jersey.

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