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Medley Centre owner loses tax credits over lack of jobs

Irondequoit, N.Y. - The owner of Medley Centre, Bersin Properties, has been decertified as an Empire Zone designee, according to New York State Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle.

The designation entitled Bersin Properties to nearly $4 million in property tax credits since 2004. The Empire Zone (EZ) tax credits were contingent upon the creation of two full-time jobs in Monroe County.

In a letter Tuesday, Assemblyman Morelle announced the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) concluded Bersin no longer qualified as a designee and decertified it as of June 6.

The decertification is the latest step in the ongoing struggle between local leaders and Bersin Properties over the proposed development of the Medley Centre.

Morelle called for the investigation in February and the ESD agreed to look into the dealings at the Medley Centre.

In the aforementioned letter, Morelle added, "In addition, ESD's actions open the door for the State Department of Tax and Finance (DTF) to review whether in previous years Bersin Properties has failed to comply with the agreed upon parameters of their Empire Zone designation. This could inevitably lead to the clawback of state tax dollars received by Bersin in previous years."

Irondequoit Town Supervisor Adam Bello released a statement Tuesday morning:

I want to thank Majority Leader Joe Morelle for his leadership in protecting taxpayers, and holding Bersin Properties accountable for the promises they made to our community.

Today's decertification of Bersin Properties from the Empire Zone Program, and the actions the town has taken to terminate the PILOT agreement, will ensure Irondequoit's taxpayers are no longer subsidizing a failed development. The former Irondequoit Mall has the potential to be the largest economic development project in our region. In order to make that a reality, we need to stop throwing good money after bad, and we need a developer who will act in good faith.

Bersin Properties has 30 days to appeal to the ESD ruling.

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Washington Times