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Billing firm wins tax break to relocate to Amherst

A Cheektowaga medical management and billing business received more than $530,000 in tax breaks Friday from the Amherst Industrial Development Agency so it can move into a new building in the Bryant Woods office park.

Professional Emergency Services, which provides back office and billing services for medical firms, including the emergency rooms at Millard Fillmore and Millard Fillmore Suburban hospitals, will more than double its space through the $3.4 million project.

It will occupy a 12,000-square-foot building at 27 Bryant Woods North; its current location on Cayuga Road in Cheektowaga has 5,000 square feet.

The project also will put the 1.4-acre Bryant Woods parcel, which is now essentially exempt from taxes because it is owned by the state Urban Development Corp., back on the tax rolls. Even with the tax breaks, which will last for 10 years, the company will pay about $242,000 in school and property taxes, development agency officials said.

The company currently has 26 full-time and four part-time workers. By the time the new office opens, executives said they expect the company to have added 11 full-time and two part-time employees.

"This is a great project," said James J. Allen, the agency's executive director.

Allen said the agency notified Cheektowaga officials about the company's plans to seek tax breaks for its move to Amherst, but did not receive any response. Development agencies are required to notify the top political officials in a company's current home community when a business seeks tax breaks for a move to a nearby municipality.

"Essentially, it's a courtesy, but it allows people to call on a company if they haven't done so," Allen said. "There's not really much anyone can do. It's pretty much a courtesy in our policy. Companies leave Amherst all the time."

Professional Emergency Services is owned and operated by 13 physicians. Company executives said they expect the business to grow mainly by serving medical firms located outside Western New York and out of state. They said the tax breaks were "critical" to locating the company's home base in Amherst and putting it in a position to grow.

e-mail: drobinson@buffnews.com