Legoland is planning a new theme park in NY. What is the impact of developments like these on local real estate and property taxes? What might it mean for you?
According to Bloomberg Legoland brand operator Merlin Entertainment has been working to get the blessing of locals to build its third park in the USA. The planned site for Legoland NY is 60 miles north of NYC. Not everyone in the area is excited about more traffic and visitors, nor the massive property tax break being requested. But there could be some positives as well.
Legoland Florida was also located off the beaten path, near Orlando, Florida. However, it is already clear that local property owners stand to win big from the theme park’s presence. Local businesses can enjoy far more traffic and sales. More jobs can compound that spending and the lifestyle for locals. In turn local property values including homes can see a significant lift. That creates wealth through home equity.
So who wouldn’t want more spendable cash, a windfall in home equity, and more fun things to do in town? Well there can be downsides to major developments like this too. Not everyone wants higher property prices. Because that also means it is going to be more expensive to buy a home or rent one.
Then there are property taxes. Even those who don’t move are going to see their property tax bills rising. That’s because property values are up and there is going to be a need for more local public services. Think emergency personnel, schools, local government, and transportation improvements. Big developers like Legoland’s are smart to this. They are posing that they’ll only build the park, and bring all those positive benefits if they can forego property taxes on the 523 acre site. In fairness they are posing another type of fee structure and this isn’t an uncommon arrangement. Still development arrangements like this can see local homeowners footing a lot of the property tax burden.
What do you think? Are you excited about a Legoland in NY? Do you think developers offer good net deals for neighbors, or should they be paying property taxes like everyone else?