Iskalo doesn’t deserve additional tax breaks
Iskalo Development has impressed me as a professional and creative developer (e.g., the Evans Bank building at North Forest and Main). So it distresses me to learn that the Lord Amherst project will cost more than the company anticipated (“Amherst development agency wins appeal in Lord Amherst tax break case,” Feb. 4 News).
Nonetheless, I agree with the Amherst IDA that additional tax breaks were unjustified. The company’s finding of “rampant mold infestation” does not warrant additional tax breaks as much as a thorough review of its due diligence process. The word “rampant” connotes widespread presence of the mold, which should have been detected, if not fully established as to its extent, during usual and customary hotel inspection procedures. The presence of mold then would have been subject to retrading the deal as to price and terms.
Further, Iskalo was granted $1.07 million in tax breaks with respect to this specific project. I doubt that it would have returned these tax breaks had it discovered, instead, that the project was going to cost only $8.8 million instead of the projected $9.9 million.
The company failed to adequately understand the investment required and it, not Amherst taxpayers, should pay the price for its inadequate due diligence.
Lee C. Broad