AMHERST, NY-- The Amherst Industrial Development Agency has voted in favor of granting a local law firm $550,000 in tax breaks for expansion.
The vote was 5-2.
Attorney William Mattar wants to knock down a vacant church next door to his law firm's building in Amherst to do a $4 million expansion that would include a new call center and create 20 new jobs.
Mattar says the call center will also house an advocacy group designed to help veterans.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who opposed the tax breaks, issued this statement:
"We are very disappointed that the Amherst IDA voted to extend $550,000 in tax breaks to the law offices of William Mattar, a professional service company that should not be receiving incentives for the work they are proposing to do. This vote reflects the gulf that exists between ongoing reforms at the Erie County Industrial Development Agency and the 'anything goes' mentality that permeates suburban IDA's who are determined to do their own thing despite the effects their decisions have on Erie County taxpayers and competing businesses. While the ECIDA is acting to ensure that incentives are given according to stringent guidelines and with rigorous follow up, the Amherst IDA has become the poster child for generously endorsing questionable deals with taxpayer funding. Their actions also ignore the new state law intended to ban or restrain incentives that do not create net new wealth. Erie County remains committed to a uniform IDA policy that is accountable, transparent, and responsible. We call upon the Amherst IDA and its suburban counterparts to change their ways and adopt a uniform development model that consistently scrutinizes each application and awards incentives only to those applicants who will truly benefit the community as a whole."