On June 16th I attended a breakfast sponsored by the Melville Chamber of Commerce on the Long Island Economy. Some of the comments from this panel discussion I found most interesting include:
Although the employment, and unemployment rates fairly mirror the national levels and average weekly wages are in line with the rest of the country (Nassau $1,022 and Suffolk $1,031), there are major problems. Energy costs on Long Island are TWICE the national average and property taxes are off the wall. The 2% property tax cap is a blessing in disguise. A projection of property taxes for the next ten years with a continued cap would rise 20%. WITHOUT the cap, an astounding 58% increase.
Home sale prices have risen the past year. Up 6.1% in Nassau (average price $435,000) and up 10% in Suffolk (average price $330,000. What I found MOST interesting is that the issue of ZOMBIE homes on Long Island was not addressed . This is an issue that has only begun to appear and I believe will plague the Long Island economy for the foreseeable future.
No surprise that exporting plays an important role in the Long Island economy. It is the U.S headquarters of some major foreign companies—-Nikon, Canon, and Swissair to name a few. New York state ranks 4th among the states in exporting. Among New York counties Nassau ranks 5th ($6.6 billion revenues) and Suffolk ranks 9th ($3.8 billion revenues). An astonishing 95%of these Long Island exporting companies are small businesses.
No forecast was given.