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Council Unanimously Approves Haemonetics Tax Deal

The Braintree Town Council approved a five-year property tax break for the company.

Haemonetics on Wood Road in Braintree. File photo. The company is planning upgrades.
Haemonetics on Wood Road in Braintree. File photo. The company is planning upgrades.
The Braintree Town Council approved a property tax break for blood processor Haemonetics Thursday 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, requested temporarily relief from paying its property taxes for five years, saving the company as much as $900,000.

Spurred by the deal, the company will invest $10 million in its headquarters, including research and development lab and offices renovations, retain 394 full-time jobs and bring in 125 new jobs.

The tax exemption is allowed under state law, and requires approval by state officials. They are expected to vote on the project in March, said Bob Pike, Haemonetic's director of strategic manufacturing projects.

If it receives final approval, Haemonetics plans to begin renovations this spring, completing them sometime in mid-2015, Pike said. That puts the starting time of the exemption at fiscal year 2016, Mayor Joseph Sullivan said.

Haemonetics would pay no property taxes during that first year. The company would then 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 recoup some $148,000 in building permit fees initially, and would then break even by 2025 and by 3030 garner an additional $800,000 over and above what the town would have received if the project had not happened, Town Auditor Eric Kinsherf said.

During the five-year exemption, Sullivan said the town will not burden other residential or commercial taxpayers with higher rates, pledging not to raise the tax levy the full 2.5 percent allowed by law.

All eight town councilors in attendance Thursday (Paul "Dan" Clifford was absent), voted in favor of the deal. Several spoke about the direct and indirect (i.e. meals, hotel taxes) value of having a company like Haemonetics in Braintree, including Charles Kokoros, who represents its district.

"We don't want to lose a company like this," Kokoros said.

Indirect benefits may also include making the town more attractive for life sciences companies. Sullivan has said he would like to attract such businesses to Braintree, specifically along the Granite Street corridor and by the MBTA station.

"It's hard to truly quantify," Sullivan said of Haemonetic's attraction potential.

But without a doubt, the mayor said, the deal will be a source of future "economic generation."

Michael Wilcox, president of the Braintree Chamber of Commerce, said that life sciences companies are highly sought after, both within Massachusetts and by other states. 

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

Losing those jobs is unfortunate, Wilcox said, but the company is easing the transition by bringing in more highly-skilled positions and maintaining its international headquarters here.

"It shows that Braintree is a viable destination for these companies," Wilcox said.

Steve Ryder January 23, 2014 at 09:45 PM
is that so they can send more jobs overseas
Bill Manley Sr. January 24, 2014 at 11:13 AM
So When Haemonetics leaves Braintree, what will all these "Councilors" say then? Can you say RAYTHEON???
Marty Barrett January 24, 2014 at 10:21 PM
what a joke!! great start to the new term. Sure Sully told them all how to vote..

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