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UPDATE: Haemonetics Tax Deal Up For Vote Tuesday Night

The Braintree Town Council will consider giving the company a five-year property tax break.

Haemonetics on Wood Road in Braintree. File photo.
Haemonetics on Wood Road in Braintree. File photo.
UPDATE: Tuesday night's meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. because of the snow storm: http://goo.gl/G5AzQR

The Braintree Town Council is likely to vote on a property tax break for blood processor Haemonetics Tuesday night, a deal that company and town officials say will keep the headquarters in Braintree and spur millions of dollars in reinvestment.

Haemonetics, an international blood management equipment manufacturer on Wood Road in Braintree, is requesting temporarily relief from paying its property taxes for five years, saving the company up to $900,000.

The tax exemption is part of a state initiative and would also require approval by state officials.

Haemonetics representatives speaking to the Committee on Ways & Means last week said the deal would allow the company to invest $10 million in its Braintree headquarters, retain 394 full-time jobs and bring in 125 new jobs.

Last year, the company announced it was closing its manufacturing plant in Braintree and sending 320 jobs to Mexico and Asia.

If the tax deal goes through, Haemonetics would spent $7.4 million on upgrading the facade of its 180,000-square-foot building and adding offices and laboratory space. Another $2.6 million would be spent on furniture and equipment.

Under the terms of the deal, Haemonetics would pay no property tax in the first year, which won't kick-in until renovations are complete, sometime in fiscal year 2016 or 2017. Then the company would pay 10 percent in the second year, 25 percent in the third, 50 percent in the fourth and 55 percent in the fifth year.

Braintree would collect approximately $148,000 in building permits associated with the renovations, Chief of Staff and Operations Peter Morin said. Town Auditor Eric Kinsherf estimated the town would break even by 2025.

"We have to be stewards of the future," Morin said. "We have to plant the seeds of economic growth for future years and generations."

Mayor Joseph Sullivan has said he would like to attract more life sciences and bio technology companies to Braintree, specifically along the Granite Street corridor and by the MBTA station.

Haemonetics representatives said the company brings in some $2 million per year into the local economy by way of hotel and restaurant expenditures by the company and employees, along with other services such as automobile repairs.

Both the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and Braintree Chamber of Commerce support the deal, South Shore Chamber President Peter Forman said during the meeting last Wednesday night.

“[Haemonetics] did not feel trapped, in that they could not move from Braintree,” Forman said. “They have a preference to stay here, but it’s not their only option.”

Morin said the town could make up for the temporary loss in tax revenue through budget adjustments and local receipts.

He said the mayor is committed to not burdening other residential or commercial taxpayers with higher rates because of the deal, and has pledged not to raise the tax levy the full 2.5 percent allowed by law during the five-year reprieve.

Ways & Means recommended favorable action to the full council 3-0. The council meets at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall Tuesday evening.

Bill Manley Sr. January 21, 2014 at 09:32 AM
Haemonetics like Raytheon & a host of other companies in Ma., is trying to put the screws to the town of Braintree. Regardless of what the various Chambers say this is not a good deal for Braintree. What's to stop them, Haemonetics from moving out of Braintree in the not too distant future?
Laura Burton January 21, 2014 at 01:23 PM
I thought they already have a move ( or closing) planned?
Joseph Markman (Editor) January 21, 2014 at 01:28 PM
They are closing the manufacturing plant in Braintree but the plan is to maintain the HQ here and add R&D jobs. They said last year they were moving 320 manufacturing jobs out of the country.

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