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Marlborough committee recommends tax deal

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – The Finance Committee voted on Monday night to recommend that the City Council grant a tax increment financing deal for flash storage company SanDisk, which plans to open a research and development facility in Marlborough.

SanDisk plans to open the facility at 200 Donald Lynch Boulevard in a section of the building that has stood vacant since it was built a decade ago. The company plans to move 80 jobs to Marlborough from a current facility in Westford and then add 60 new jobs over the course of three years.

The five-year tax deal would offer SanDisk a break on a portion of the taxes it would otherwise pay on the property value it adds to the building. The deal recommended by the Finance Committee would give SanDisk a 100 percent break on property taxes on added value the first year, followed by a 50 percent break the second year, 30 percent break the third year, 20 percent break the fourth year and a 10 percent break the fifth and final year.

The California-based company plans to invest about $10 million in construction costs at the new facility and approximately $4 million on equipment, James Goldsberry, SanDisk senior director of engineering, told the committee.

Mayor Arthur Vigeant said that although the company will invest $10 million in the building, the estimated increase to the assessed value is expected to clock in at around $1.2 million. Running out the numbers laid out in the TIF, the company is expected to save about $36,000 in property taxes over the life of the agreement, Vigeant said.

Although the local tax breaks are relatively meager compared to the company’s overall investment, the local TIF opens up the possibility of more rewarding tax credits at the state level, said Goldsberry.

Goldsberry said that the company is seeking an investment tax credit from the state that could be worth between $300,000 and $400,000.

Goldsberry said that the company chose Marlborough for a variety of reasons, including the cluster of high-tech businesses in the area and its proximity to high-caliber universities for the purposes of recruiting.

“We think this site would be a great place for us to reside long-term,” he said.

Marlborough Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Tim Cummings said the company hopes to finish up construction at the site by the fall.

Several councilors said they were happy with the deal and were pleased to welcome SanDisk to the city.

“These are definitely the type of people we want here, the type of business we want here,” said Ward 3 Councilor Matt Elder.

Councilors said they were especially happy with the comparatively short life span of the agreement. In recent years, the city has approved bigger and longer TIFs, including a 15-year deal with Quest Diagnostics and a 20-year deal with TJX.

The Finance Committee will ask the full council on Monday to send the proposed agreement to the solicitor to be placed in proper legal form so the council can vote on the agreement at its first meeting in June.