Compromise Decision in Wabtec Tax Case
A decision by the Erie County Assessment Board means Wabtec's taxes are going up.
The board raising the assessed value of the locomotive complex from $24 million to $41 million.
It means the company's annual tax bill increases about $500,000.
The decision is a compromise.
At a recent hearing the Iroquois School District wanted the value increased to $161 million., the purchase price Wabtec paid GE Transportation for the property earlier this year.
Wabtec argued that figure represented the replacement value not the true value. Lawyers also argued the long term relationship of the two companies was a key factor in the higher number.
Wabtec wanted the assessment value to stay at $24 million.
The board voted unanimously to reach the compromise figure after studying both arguments and looking at the local real estate market.
Scott Maas, Assessment Bureau Director said, "They are trying to invoke fairness into the assessment process."
Iroquois Superintendent Shane Murray said, "I was surprised based on what I have learned in the past that most often they go with one of the numbers presented and not a new number in the middle."
Both Wabtec and the district now have 30 days to decide whether to appeal the decision.