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Mortgage company seeks $182,783 in tax breaks to move from Amherst to Clarence

A Rochester-based mortgage company that leases space in Amherst is seeking nearly $183,000 in tax breaks to support its purchase and renovation of a former bank branch 2 miles away in Clarence.

The Clarence Industrial Development Agency released the value of the proposed tax breaks Thursday, two weeks before the agency's board is set to vote on Premium Mortgage's request at its May 18 meeting. A public hearing will take place just before the board vote.

Premium Mortgage is expected to spend about $3 million to purchase and upgrade the former KeyBank at 4401 Transit Road, near Main Street, and to add up to 20 employees within 18 months after it moves from leased space at 2150 Wehrle Drive.

Mortgage company seeks tax breaks for move from Amherst to Clarence

The company exclusively handles residential mortgages, processing 4,000 transactions last year. The company has added 15 employees over the past year or so just at its Amherst location, where it has about 30 workers now. The 15,380-square-foot bank branch in Clarence is nearly twice the size of Premium's current building.

The Clarence IDA initially proposed a more lucrative property tax abatement to Premium Mortgage that would freeze the Transit Road parcel's assessment for five years at its current level of $307,000.

But Paul Leone, a consultant to the agency, said the IDA board decided instead to vote on granting Premium a standard, seven-year payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, agreement, worth $104,283. Premium also would receive sales tax breaks worth $52,500 and mortgage-recording tax breaks worth $26,000, for a total of $182,783, Leone said.

The IDA estimates the community benefit from the project, including income tax from new workers and sales tax, at $1.9 million.

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