ELLICOTT – Town Supervisor Patrick W. McLaughlin says he was completely caught off guard Thursday after learning that Sam’s Club, one of the Town’s highest tax payers, planned to close its doors for good on January 26th.
“It’s sad for the employees who were there and who, with really no notice, find that they are going to be unemployed,” McLaughlin said. “It’s a bullish job market, and there’s not a lot of them out there.”
Walmart abruptly closed 63 Sam’s Club locations across the US, including four locations in New York. The carnage from the mass layoffs expected to hover near 10,000 employees.
McLaughlin couldn’t recall a time when a layoff in Chautauqua County had this big of an impact.
“Obviously, we know there’s been reductions in employment at Bush Industries, and some of the smaller plants, but nothing like this,” McLaughlin said.
He says Sam’s Club pays $20,000 a year in taxes to the Town of Ellicott. “Even in an empty building, they are going to have pay taxes on it,” McLaughlin said. “When the building becomes empty, and they are no longer receiving revenue from that building, they will request a reduction in their assessment.”
McLaughlin said Sam’s Club’s departure will cut into the town’s revenue stream.
“That’s why we are anxious to get something in there.”