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Mayor wants to ease taxes on Argotec ahead of expansion

GREENFIELD — The mayor plans to ask Town Council later this month to give Argotec a tax break because it plans to expand once again and eventually add more jobs.

“We want to do what we can for the businesses who are adding to our economic health,” said Mayor William Martin.

The mayor told Town Council committee chairs Monday night that he believes the town should help the company, which has grown so much and provided more and more jobs the past decade.

He said officials at Argotec, which is located on Silvio O. Conte Drive in the Interstate 91 Industrial Park, have said the company plans an expansion because it has doubled its sales in the past five years.

Martin said he wants the council to give the company Tax Increment Financing to ease the burden it will experience paying for that expansion.

The mayor said he does not have the details of the expansion and Argotec officials were not available for comment on Monday.

Argotec Chief Operating Officer and President Nick Filler is away for part of this week, but a woman in the company’s human resources department said he would talk about the expansion when he returns.

Argotec is a supplier of custom-engineered, high-performance polyurethane film and sheet for a wide variety of reasons. The company also has expertise in resin formulation, substrate design, extrusion coating, and multi-layer constructions.

The company was founded by Richard Barnes and Steven Wolkenbreit in 1988. Its current location is the site of the company’s first manufacturing facility.

Argotec built a second plant near the first in 1999 and major additions were made to both facilities in 2005 and 2007. Its most aggressive expansion was in 2008, when Argotec doubled its square footage and capacity.

In June 2013, Argotec was sold to Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm and on May 1 this year it bought Stevens Urethane.

On May 1, Argotec bought Stevens Urethane, a major producer of polyurethane film and sheet in western Massachusetts.

For more information about Argotec, visit:

www.argotec.com

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I'm glad to read about these new business expansions and I think that helping with tax breaks is a realistic move to entice them to stay, but if only done very carefully. Are there any requirements tied to these tax breaks - that is, what happens if the jobs don't actually materialize? If they don't, do the businesses just get to pocket the savings? Shouldn't also the jobs need to be at a certain pay scale, so that tax breaks aren't worth more than what they are paying out in labor for the new jobs? It's also worthwhile to consider if a business actually needs the the tax break - often they are so invested in a location it would be hard for them to move anyway, so the tax break isn't really needed. These are just general thoughts, not specific to this business in particular.

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