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Greenfield encourages Kennametal with tax break offer

Kennametal, which bought the Greenfield Tap and Die plant on Sanderson Street in 1997, has also filed an application with the state’s Economic Development Incentives Program for tax breaks at the state level.   
(Recorder/Paul Franz)

Kennametal, which bought the Greenfield Tap and Die plant on Sanderson Street in 1997, has also filed an application with the state’s Economic Development Incentives Program for tax breaks at the state level. (Recorder/Paul Franz) Purchase photo reprints »

GREENFIELD — Kennametal Inc. has one more reason to “strongly consider” moving its Vermont plant to Greenfield, town officials say.

Town Council has approved a property tax break for the company if it decides to consolidate in Greenfield, instead of North Carolina. The break would ease some of the company’s tax burden over the next decade, beginning in 2016.

Kennametal currently pays about $92,000 to the town in taxes each year. It has said it plans to invest $3.4 million immediately on whichever plant it chooses and an additional $1.25 million over the next four years.

Audrey Murphy, the town’s assessor, said with the tax break, Kennametal would continue to pay only on the property and equipment as currently assessed, not on any additions, until 2026.

Mayor William Martin and Robert Pyers, the town’s economic development director, said it will still be a win-win if the company decides to consolidate in Greenfield, because it will add another 70 jobs to the 63 it already provides.

Martin and Pyers said those jobs will provide an average income of $75,000 a year per employee.

The company, which bought the Greenfield Tap and Die plant on Sanderson Street in 1997, has also filed an application with the state’s Economic Development Incentives Program for tax breaks at the state level.

It appears Kennametal will make the decision about whether it is moving its Vermont plant to Greenfield when it hears from the state and what it has to offer.

Kennametal, which is headquartered in Pennsylvania, owns a 180,000-square-foot building in Greenfield and a 70,000-square-foot building in North Carolina.

The mayor is also working with Greenfield Community College and Franklin Regional Employment Board to offer Kennametal’s potential employees the training they will need.

Martin said he is confident Greenfield will be the place Kennametal decides to consolidate and expand. He said conversations with the company have led him to believe there is a genuine interest on Kennametal’s part to relocate to Greenfield.

Greenfield Tap and Die was founded in 1912 as a holding company producing thread cutting tools or taps and dies. It was founded by Frederick Payne and Frank O. Wells. The company took over the Russell Manufacturing Co., combining the two large businesses to create the world’s largest tap and die company in the world at the time

Since Kennametal bought the company in 1997, it has run one plant in Massachusetts.

Kennametal produces metal working tools for milling, turning, solid endmilling, drilling, threading, and more in industries such as aerospace, earthworks, energy, transportation, engineering and machine tools.

Greenfield Tap and Die, in its heyday in the mid-20th century, was a mainstay of Greenfield employment, hiring as many as thousands of workers at two locations in town at one time.

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