Modern Tool Spared From Tax Sale - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Modern Tool Spared From Tax Sale

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The owners of Erie's Modern Tool Square will not lose the building to a tax sale.  Modern Tool Realty owed almost 660 thousand dollars in back taxes and they paid up a big piece of that Wednesday to avoid going on the county's tax lien sale.

Owners Dr. Kirk Steehler and his wife Dr. Rosanne Palermo-Steehler handed over a check to Erie County Executive Barry Grossman for a half million dollars. They reached agreement with three taxing bodies, Erie County, The City of Erie and Erie's Public Schools to pay the back taxes at a 10% penalty.

The remaining 130 thousand will be made in payments over the next three years. About 30 thousand in penalties and interest will be forgiven.

Dr. Kirk Steehler has been part owner of the building since 2004, but he wasn't aware that a former partner and property manager Robert Tidmore wasn't paying the taxes.

"Kirk didn't know about the back taxes until 3 years past due so that's what got us into this situation," said new co-owner, Dr. Rosanne Palermo-Steeler.

"I fell in love with the building,  Rosanne fell in love with the building, we couldn't let anything happen to it," Dr. Kirk Steehler said.

County Executive Barry Grossman encouraged the tax payback plan and was pleased to announce it.  "We have an extremely valuable property, Modern Tool complex that was at risk and I can't say enough about these two folks who've come forward, dipped into their own assets to a great degree to save this property, keep it on the tax rolls, and to keep it the viable business that it is today," said Grossman.

According to Steehler, Modern Tool is about 95% occupied with residential apartments, offices and restaurants, including the popular Tap House, so this is good news for them as well. 

Dr. Jan Brydon, one of the original tenants of the complex told us that tenants have been aware of the financial issues.  "Obviously there were financial issues, because things weren't being done, but overall this building is great.  I love being downtown, it's great to have my office here, so if this can be worked out I will be relieved to move forward and take it from there," said Brydon.

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