Bills want tax break on new practice field

Posted at 11:17 AM, Mar 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-22 18:22:36-04

The Buffalo Bills plan to build a 4.5 million dollar practice field adjacent to New Era Field in Orchard Park, and are looking to Erie County for a tax break on that build.

According to Erie County Legislator Joe Lorigo, the team has proposed Erie County absorb the taxes on the recently-purchased three-acre lot.

Taxes on the property are $1,600 per year.

Lorigo says that NFL teams shouldn't get any more tax breaks, as the County already owns 197 acres of the Bills land.

Lorigo says once the Bills build on that land, taxes will go up.

Below is a statement from the Buffalo Bills:

"The Buffalo Bills recently purchased a three-acre plot of undeveloped land adjacent to the stadium complex in Orchard Park.

The lot was purchased to expand the outdoor practice area from one field to two. Most NFL practice complexes have at least two outdoor practice fields that are utilized throughout the spring, summer and fall practice sessions.

The Bills will privately fund the $4.5 million dollar investment to build the practice field. That work is scheduled to be contracted to a variety of locally-based contractors.

The Bills have simply asked the County to accept its donation of this land and the improvements so that it operates as part of the entire stadium complex, which is currently 197 acres.

Based on the proposed Orchard Park assessment and the current Erie County tax rates, the county’s portion of tax on this 3-acre plot will be approximately $211 annually.

Given that the primary function of this field will be for Buffalo Bills practices, the County will assume no additional liability as part of this transaction.

This transaction has been previously addressed and approved by the Erie County Stadium Corporation on February 10, 2017 and then approved as part of a public hearing of the Public Authorities Control Board on March 2, 2017."