Poloncarz says project fails to meet criteria

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz is urging Amherst officials to reject local personal injury attorney William Mattar’s request for $550,000 in tax breaks for the law firm’s proposed $4 million office expansion project on Main Street.

“Lawyer’s offices should not get tax breaks,” Poloncarz said in a letter to Amherst Supervisor Barry Weinstein, a member of the Amherst Industrial Development Agency board of directors, which will consider the Mattar project at its meeting Friday morning.

Mattar is proposing to expand his Amherst office and add 20 new jobs to the law firm’s 74-person staff to help pave the way for the law firm to expand its practice into other states.

Mattar would renovate the firm’s existing office at 6720 Main St., located two blocks west of Transit Road. The firm also has purchased a neighboring Jehovah’s Witnesses church building at 6710 Main St. that it plans to tear down and replace with a 19,500-square-foot office building.

Mattar, in his application to the Amherst IDA, said the project would not proceed without the tax breaks, which are needed to offset the $50,000 in demolition costs and New York state’s “excessively high” taxes. Mattar said the firm has considered locating the expansion in Detroit, where he expects incentives would be available if the firm were to establish a Michigan office.
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