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Babylon IDA sues stone company over nonpayment of tax breaks

Mackson Marble & Granite, at 40 Gazza Blvd.

Mackson Marble & Granite, at 40 Gazza Blvd. in East Farmingdale, is being sued by Babylon Town's Industrial Development Agency over alleged nonpayment of tax breaks. Credit: Barry Sloan

The Town of Babylon Industrial Development Agency is suing an East Farmingdale marble distributor for allegedly failing to pay $107,037 in PILOT payments, interest and penalties.

The IDA filed suit on April 26 against Anita Logistics LLC, which previously received tax breaks from the agency, the complaint shows. The company is a real estate holding entity affiliated with Mackson Marble & Granite, which sells slabs and tiles of the high-end stones out of its store on Gazza Boulevard, according to agency CEO Matthew McDonough.

“We offer close to 100 Exotic colors of granite, marble & onyx slabs for Kitchen & Bath Countertops, Flooring, and wall cladding applications,” the company’s website reads.

The IDA first granted the company tax breaks in 2009, McDonough said. They included the so-called payments in lieu of taxes — a property tax exemption — worth $214,692, a mortgage recording tax exemption worth $20,945 and a sales tax exemption worth $11,469.

But the company began missing payments, including interest and penalties, during the 2015-16 property tax year, which led the IDA board to vote unanimously in August 2017 to terminate the tax breaks, McDonough said.

Aman Lamba, a managing member of the company, said Friday that he had been aware only of about $24,500 in overdue PILOT payments, which he said he had intended to pay. He attributed the delinquency to sluggish sales and a death in the family that distracted him from business affairs.

“The IDA’s been great. I have no complaints,” Lamba said. “I just wish they’d stuck by me a little longer when time’s been tough.”

Regarding the lawsuit, Lamba said, “We’re hoping to wrap this up amicably.”

The IDA is also seeking attorney fees, according to the complaint.

McDonough said the IDA has rarely rescinded tax breaks from its clients in recent years, and has filed suit even less often. He could recall only two other such lawsuits since 2013.

The Babylon IDA grants tax breaks to businesses to entice them to relocate to or remain in the town. Last year the IDA granted $11.9 million in tax breaks, according to figures provided by the agency.

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