Lancaster IDA rejects, then approves, tax breaks for Transit Road hotel - The Buffalo News

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Lancaster IDA rejects, then approves, tax breaks for Transit Road hotel

The Lancaster Industrial Development Agency this morning voted down a $1 million package of tax breaks for a planned Transit Road hotel before approving an amended, less-generous set of tax exemptions for the project.

Board members voted 4-3 to reject the sales, property and mortgage-recording tax breaks requested by Scott Enterprises, an Erie, Pa., company that plans to build an $11.5 million, 108-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott at 6647 Transit Road, near the Thruway exit.

Lancaster Supervisor Dino J. Fudoli, the IDA chairman, then asked the board to grant the $550,000 in sales-tax breaks and $114,600 in mortgage-recording tax breaks, only, without the requested $358,729 payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, agreement. That amended request passed 7-0.

Scott Enterprises still may seek what is known as a 485(b) property tax exemption, a state-instituted tax break administered through the town Assessor’s Office. The 485(b) includes exemptions for town and county property taxes but, unlike a PILOT, the hotel would have to pay school taxes.

The Erie County IDA doesn’t grant tax breaks to hotels unless the hotel is part of a regional tourism attraction, the reuse of a long-vacant property or in an enhancement zone. Lancaster IDA officials had argued the hotel will host visitors to destinations in Lancaster and Cheektowaga.

Scott Enterprises plans to break ground for the hotel as soon as this week, with a scheduled opening of late spring 2015.

Also this morning, the Lancaster IDA approved tax breaks for a company, Innomotive Solutions Group, part of the Whiting Group of Canada, which is spending $5.5 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing facility at 4304 Walden Ave.

The company, which makes roll-away doors used on emergency vehicles, would employ 17 in Lancaster. The IDA approved $64,000 in sales tax breaks and a PILOT agreement whose value isn’t known yet.


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