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Buffalo

Use of a controversial property tax exemption for commercial projects in Buffalo keeps growing, according to a new report by a government watchdog group that has criticized the way developers have used the lucrative program. The Public Accountability Initiative projected the total value of the 485-a tax break in Buffalo at $66.9 million between this year and the end of …

Buffalo

The developers seeking to convert the former Richmond Methodist Episcopal Church on Buffalo's West Side into a performing arts center are now seeking tax breaks to support the renovation project. Rachel and Ryan Heckl, who are leading the initiative at the former church at 467 Richmond Ave., have applied to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency for more than $38…

Buffalo

Critics of a city property tax break program turned their fire toward Benderson Development Co. Friday, demanding the Florida-based real estate company give up $5.9 million in subsidies it received for its One Canalside project in downtown Buffalo. Assemblyman Sean M. Ryan, D-Buffalo, accused the developer of abusing the state-authorized program, designed to support mix…

Buffalo

Some of Buffalo's biggest and most active real estate developers are among the largest beneficiaries of a special city property tax exemption — one that is frequently used in Buffalo, but is not well-known, understood or monitored by taxpayers. That's the conclusion of a new report by an advocacy group, which is raising concerns about the lack of oversight and potential…