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In the News

Jan 2020

N.Y. STAR school tax relief program baffles, confuses homeowners

                    The more officials change the state’s property tax relief program the more confusing it becomes. And they always change it. That was the message from local property tax assessors who testified Tuesday before the Assembly Property Taxation Committee on the two-decade-old STAR or School Tax …

Jan 2020

Five Star Bank has bigger plans for Buffalo

Five Star Bank is making a bigger push into the city of Buffalo, with two new branches coming soon. The bank, which is based in Wyoming County, has mainly served the Buffalo Niagara region from suburban branches. The two new branches will probably open about a year from now, said Martin K. Birmingham, the president …

Jan 2020

A.C. Moore to close McKinley Plaza store in March

A.C. Moore, the struggling arts and crafts retailer that is closing after succumbing to rising competition, will close its only remaining Western New York store in Blasdell within two months. The company filed a layoff notice with the state Department of Labor this week, saying it would be cutting 123 jobs when it closes stores …

Jan 2020

Poloncarz taps former Clarence supervisor as new head of property tax office

County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz has appointed the county’s deputy budget director to become the director of real property tax services. Scott Bylewski, a lawyer and former Clarence town supervisor, has served as deputy budget director since 2017. If confirmed by the Erie County Legislature, Bylewski will become the county’s top property assessment, foreclosure and …

Jan 2020

Syracuse hikes hundreds of property tax assessments; it’s the most in 2 decades

City officials revised the assessments on more than 3,000 Syracuse properties this month — likely more than in any year since 1996 — in an effort to make sure owners pay their fair share of taxes. For 2020, the city changed roughly twice as many assessments as it normally does, said David Clifford, assessment commissioner. …

Jan 2020

Five Mortgage Trends Likely To Continue Into 2020

Let’s face it:   Predicting anything is difficult — usually impossible. While mortgage trends are no exception to this reality, evidence-based predictions do serve a useful purpose. They can help guide us on how to act — or not act — to maximize economic and regulatory conditions in a responsible way. So, let us predict. …

Jan 2020

DiNapoli: School district tax levy cap below 2%

Property tax levy growth for school districts will be capped at 1.81% for the 2020-21 fiscal year, down from a 2% cap in each of the two previous years, according to data released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “As the levy growth rate dips below 2%, school district and municipal officials …

Jan 2020

New tax bill due for ShoppingTown Mall; Onondaga Co. gets three checks since Dec.

ShoppingTown Mall has until Wednesday to follow a federal bankruptcy judge’s order and make it’s 2020 Onondaga County and Town of Dewitt tax payment. The county did receive two checks from the mall in December totaling $135,000. The first check, $110,000, paid the current year’s school taxes. The second check, $25,000, is the first payment …

Jan 2020

Gold Wynn buys Lipsitz Green building on Delaware

Gold Wynn Residential, the Toronto-based real estate company that owns the former Buffalo Athletic Club building on Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo, is buying the office building across the street that is home to law firm Lipsitz Green Scime & Cambria. Acting through Gold Wynn 42 Delaware LLC, the company owned by the Wynn brothers …

Jan 2020

Mortgage rates keep getting lower – Freddie Mac

Mortgage rates have plummeted to their lowest level in almost three months, according to the results of the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The survey showed that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.64%, down from 3.72% last week and from 4.45% last year at this time. “Mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in …