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Court closes shooting club over tax

The Buffalo Shooting Club went out of business Tuesday.

State Supreme Court Justice Timothy J. Drury refused to stay his order legally dissolving the 75-year-old organization over a possible $900,000 tax due on the sale of its Amherst acreage three years ago.

Attorneys Christopher A. Cardillo, Michael Paskowitz, William Savino and Jeffery Palumbo had urged the judge to stay the effect of his ruling. They said they would contact the Internal Revenue Service on the issue of the tax debt and try to get an expedited appeal of Drury's ruling launched.

The club had recently completed the $1 million purchase of a 140-acre site in Newstead and committed to spend $1.8 million on construction projects to reopen shooting there, but Drury was unmoved.

Drury later said he has appointed attorney Timothy O'Mara to serve as receiver of the shooting club's remaining assets for an ultimate cash distribution -- still uncalculated -- to each of its full membership of about 160.

John N. Blair, attorney for the 22 club members who sought the dissolution order because of the impending tax on the club's 2006 sale of its Maple Road acreage in Amherst, could not be reached to comment following Tuesday's court session.

Blair had argued that the tax risk to club members was significant, because under federal tax law, the organization had three years to reinvest capital gains -- the more than $3 million Benderson Development Co. paid for the Amherst site -- or risk a stiff tax.

Under tax law, the club had to be in full operation at its Newstead site by Sunday to be spared the tax, Blair argued.

Following Drury's ruling Tuesday, Cardillo called it "a crying shame." He said there is little resale value on its Newstead property subject to the court-appointed receiver's sale of that and other club assets.

As a result of the court case launched by the 22 club members, all members of the shooting club will get some still-undetermined amount of cash as the receiver closes out all the club's accounts and sells off its property, Cardillo said.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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