Lumber company gets $100,000 grant, tax break to take over Afton saw mill

AFTON – A Tioga County company that’s receiving $161,000 in tax breaks over the next decade to purchase a saw mill in the Town of Afton has also been awarded a grant from the state, according to a recent announcement by Empire State Development.

Wagner Lumber, of Owego, was given a $100,000 grant earlier this month from Empire State Development for purchasing the Pomeroy Mill in Nineveh, near the Broome County line.

In November, Wagner received a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement from the Chenango County Industrial Development Agency to take over the mill, saving the company $37,000 in 2008-09. The tax exemption, which decreases annually over ten years, will save the company a total of $161,000.

Wagner is purchasing Pomeroy for $1.525 million.

While Wagner pledges to retain 27 jobs, create 10 more and invest a total of $6 million in buildings and equipment, a group of Afton residents voiced opposition to the tax break at two IDA public hearings held in September and November.

Afton residents would see a .31 per 1,000 increase overall in school, town and county taxes combined in 2008-09 because of Wagner’s 10-year tax free agreement.

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