McKinley Mall Receivers Seek Re-Assessment

Assessment could lead to tax hits for Town of Hamburg, Frontier Central Schools

Tom Puckett
January 11, 2019 - 4:00 am

McKinley Mall on June 15, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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Hamburg, NY (WBEN) Receivers for McKinley Mall are seeking a re-assessment of the property. The amount could lead to a huge tax hit for residents of Hamburg, and in particular, Frontier Central Schools.

Receivers are asking the assessment be cut from nearly $24 million to less than $3 million. That would be a hit of $570,000 to the Frontier Central School District. "That's about ten teachers," says Superintendent Dr. Richard Hughes. He's hoping Albany gives the district some help. "Hopefully the legislature gets together, the statewide budget proposal comes out and they fund schools the whay they're supposed to. This is another blip we hope doesn't become a worst case scenario as they're petitioning." 

Hughes anticipates the assessment will be reduced as stores inside the mall have shut down. What he hopes is a buyer comes along with a vision. "Maybe they can get this sold to soemone who can turn this into what's being done in other malls," including the Eastern Hills Mall, where there's talk of turning it into a town center in Clarence.

Hughes says the matter may not be decided until after the budget cycle, so he and the board must prepare the budget with everything they can look at.

Hamburg Town Supervisor Jim Shaw says such a reassessment will mean a big hit for his resident. "There's going to be a significant impact for residents; school taxes, county taxes and property taxes. What we have to do is increase revenues for the 2020 budget or reduce expenses," says Shaw, saying taxpayers can't afford a hike. "We have several things in the works in anticipation of the hit we're going to take from McKinley Mall."

Shaw says he anticipates a reduction. "McKinley Mall today is not worth what it was 5 or 10 years ago. I'm not sure what the reduction's going to be," says Shaw. "I'm hopeful the petitions can be resolved, with compromise, before trial, and the compromise gives the town some flexibility to adjust to the reasssessment."

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