Life Science Company Wins Tax Credit Award; Looks to Expand in New Bedford

New Bedford Company Wins $570K Tax Incentive for Expansion
By Brian Boyd

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has awarded a $570,000 tax incentive to a New Bedford manufacturer, boosting the company’s plans to expand and hire more employees.
Morgan Advanced Ceramics, which makes ceramic materials that have medical applications, plans to add about 25,000 square feet to its plant in the New Bedford Business Park.
The company, a subsidiary of Morgan Technical Ceramics, has committed to hiring at least 19 new employees, according to the life sciences center, a quasi-public state agency.
Beyond the minimum commitment, however, the company could add far more to its staff of 214.
“They believe the expansion will lead to the creation at least 100 new jobs, highly skilled, well-paying jobs in a clearly growing industry,” Mayor Scott W. Lang said.
The proposed expansion would increase its 53,000-square-foot facility by about 50 percent. Morgan Technical Ceramics is a division of the United Kingdom-based Morgan Crucible Co.
Morgan received approval from the City Council and the state for a tax increment financing agreement, or TIF, that will save the company about $120,000 in property taxes over 10 years.
According to the TIF application, Morgan will hire a minimum of 65 permanent employees. At least 51 percent of the new positions, which pay an average annual salary of about $46,000, will be filled by New Bedford residents.
Morgan was one of 28 life sciences companies to receive a piece of $25 million in tax incentives. The incentive program is part of the state’s 10-year, $1 billion life sciences initiative and is meant to encourage companies in the field to create new jobs.
“This is great news for Morgan Advanced Ceramics, the city of New Bedford and the SouthCoast region,” said Brian Roznoy, vice president and general manager for Morgan, in a statement. “The Life Sciences Center’s tax incentive award will be instrumental in driving our future expansion plans here in New Bedford as well as creating additional job opportunities.”
Morgan had applied for an investment tax credit, one of nine different types of incentives offered through the program. It could end up with a mix of incentives, equaling the same authorized dollar amount, said Angus G. McQuilken, the center’s vice president for communications.
“We will be entering into a dialogue with each of the tax award recipients about their individual tax situation and what the most appropriate package of incentives is for them,” McQuilken said in an e-mail.
If a company receiving an incentive under the program fails to meet and maintain its job creation commitment, the company could be required to pay back all or a portion of the incentive. The program requires that recipients maintain the new jobs for at least five years and submit reports, according to a news release from the life sciences center.
Lang said the awarding of the state tax incentive shows that New Bedford is part of the move to increase the life sciences industry outside of the Route 128 corridor. He said Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, president and chief executive officer of the life sciences center, had visited the city last summer.
“What it does is recognize we have been working extremely hard with the private sector to develop a life sciences corridor at the business park,” Lang said.
New Bedford has potential in the biotechnology and life sciences fields because of its marine science and manufacturing base, said state Rep. Antonio F.D. Cabral, D-New Bedford.
“These infusions of state funds to companies like Morgan Advanced Ceramics will help realize that potential and ultimately promote jobs, which should be the primary driver of state tax incentive programs,” Cabral said in a statement.
December 28, 2009
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