Tonawanda News

March 11, 2010

WHEATFIELD: IDA to consider tax deal for dentist office

Staff Reports

Two Erie County-based dentists are seeking a payment-In-lieu-of-taxes plan with Niagara County Industrial Development Agency to open an office in Wheatfield.

Timothy Hannon of Kenmore and Christopher Kacalski of Lancaster, doing business as Courtlyn LLC, are pitching a plan to recover property at 3448 Niagara Falls Blvd. and open an office. They predict an investment of $1 million in construction and office equipping, and creation of nine full-time jobs within three years. In addition to staff, three dentists would work out of the office.

Courtlyn LLC is seeking a 10-year commercial PILOT, with mortgage, sales and property tax exemptions. The value of exemptions over the term is about $100,000.

On a 7-1 vote, the IDA board accepted Courtlyn’s application for review.

The board approved a 10-year PILOT for another dental outfit, Wheatfield Family Dentistry, this past January. Directors Rob Connolly, business agent for Laborers Local 91, and Michael Tucker, mayor of Lockport, voted against that PILOT, both citing concerns about it encouraging dentists, doctors, attorneys and other professionals to seek tax breaks for simple office moves.

Of Courtlyn’s application, Connolly said he’s encouraged to see a business moving into Niagara County from the “outside.”

Tucker said he remains cool to the idea of subsidized professional office development.

“You can find one around every other block. It’s unfair to the other dentists and doctors; and I’m still worried it’ll open the floodgates for more PILOT requests ... . (Courtlyn) isn’t like TAM Ceramics,” he said. “These guys sound like they’re very successful — they should spend their own money.”

A public hearing on the tax-break request will be held at 4 p.m. April 12 at Niagara County Center For Economic Development, 6311 Inducon Drive, Sanborn.