Feedback: Kraft Looks For Tax Break On Planned Expansion
Kraft management presented its application for a tax break at a public hearing on Tuesday.
Not many people attended and there were even fewer objections.
That's good news for Kraft, which says it needs to expand to keep the 300 workers who are there now.
"Its important for the long-term continuation of this facility," said plant manager Mark Page.
"The plant has been here for 41 years and we need to continue to invest in the plant."
The tax break for the proposed $10 million project would come in the form of a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes - or PILOT - agreement.
With the deal on the table right now, Kraft stands to save some money.
For the first five years of the 15-year deal, Kraft will pay 25 percent of the full taxes on the expansion, 50 percent for the next five years and 75 percent for the final five years.
"Over a 15-year period, it'll save them approximately 50 percent of what they would've paid in normal taxes," said Richard Porter of Lewis County's Industrial Development Agency.
That 50 percent savings for Kraft is money that four entities are losing out on: Lewis County, the town and village of Lowville, and Lowville schools.
Despite those lost dollars, there seem to be few objections.
"Absolutely, I look at it as a win-win for not only the municipalities involved," said Lowville town supervisor Randy Schell, "but also Kraft and the employers there, and the farmers that supply the raw materials.".
A Kraft spokesperson said there's no specific time line for the upgrades, which include adding more than 50,00 square feet of warehouse space, new storage silos, a new roof, new heating and air conditioning equipment, and new packaging equipment.
The proposed expansion will increase the size of the plant by 22 percent.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, Watertown, NY
On Wall Street