Amherst IDA should reject doctors’ plea for tax breaks
If you listen carefully on Friday, you likely will hear a loud sucking noise emanating from the office of the Amherst Industrial Development Agency. This will be the sound of approximately $992,000 of our tax dollars being sucked from the wallets of individual private citizens into the wallets of two doctors, the Shatkin brothers, in the form of property and sales tax breaks and mortgage recording tax breaks for a $5.5 million expansion of their dental and cosmetic practices.
If the applicants’ request is granted, this will serve as a poster child for all that is wrong with IDAs. My primary reasons for making this statement follows: The applicants have a business plan and a ready market that is rock solid for success. They do not need taxpayer money to be successful in this instance and are already very successful in a very lucrative profession that also possesses proven patent protection. There is a minimal increase in new direct hires, perhaps 3 to 5 over several years, for this project.
In the applicants’ application, when asked if this denial of tax forgiveness would cause their business to leave the area, the response was, “no.” No evidence is provided with this application to support its claims for why tax relief should be granted, only words on a few sheets of paper.
In addition, this unnecessary subsidy does not include the intent of the applicant to seek tax credits under the state’s Excelsior program that could amount to several hundred thousand dollars in additional tax relief. I ask, just how much is enough to ask of the taxpayers to make two wealthy individuals even wealthier, when they could very well achieve this additional incremental wealth utilizing their own resources and business plan for outside financing?
Edward F. McKee