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Business

Some early tax filers are receiving an unpleasant surprise: Their federal tax refunds are smaller than they expected. The Internal Revenue Service said the average refund so far this year was down nearly 9 percent, to $1,949 from $2,135 a year ago. If your refund is smaller than before, that doesn't necessarily mean you paid more in taxes. In fact, about 80 percent o…

Local News

The deadline to pay city property taxes in Niagara Falls has been extended until Monday, officials announced. The deadline, originally set for Thursday, was extended as City Hall was closed Wednesday because of frigid temperatures. Payments will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Billing and Collections Office, Room 109, in City Hall. Payments sent in the mail …

Buffalo

Businessman Nick Sinatra is once again in the firing line of left-leaning advocacy groups, as the prominent developer was late for the second time this year on several hundred thousand dollars in city taxes for a host of his Buffalo properties. On Monday, the city's online property tax records database showed Sinatra, one of the city's largest and fastest-growing proper…

Business

The rush to prepay estimated property taxes at the end of last year led to a flood of cash for municipalities, but also some headaches. Staff in Amherst and Clarence had to issue hundreds of refunds weeks later after precise tax debts were calculated. Local towns and villages took in millions of dollars in advance payments in late December, as several thousand taxpay…

Business

To claim or not to claim. That is the question for several thousand Western New Yorkers who prepaid their 2018 property taxes in December, hoping to be able to deduct them from their taxes on their 2017 returns, using the old rules. The prepayments had to be made by Dec. 31, 2017, in order to qualify at all, so it's too late to do so now if you haven't already. But w…

Business

Many M&T Bank employees will see more money in their paychecks, a boost the bank attributes to the federal tax overhaul. M&T is joining companies including Walmart and Apple in raising wages or handing out bonuses to employees, citing the tax legislation as the driving force. But to some observers, a tight labor market is the real motivator for employers' genero…

Business

Small to mid-sized business owners generally feel good about where the economy is headed, but are still reluctant to invest more in their operations, according to an M&T Bank survey. Fifty percent of the respondents to the survey said they expected the economy to improve in the next six months, and 55 percent expected the recent tax overhaul to have a positive i…

Business

Western New York's largest business group once again plans to focus its lobbying efforts on core issues familiar to its members: the high cost of doing business in the state, the need for more trained workers and the importance of encouraging investment in the region. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership Wednesday released its advocacy agenda for 2018, highlighting the chall…