December 21, 2014

City extends tax exemption for local business

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
Posted

STANDISH — The City of Standish has extended a five-year tax reduction plan with a local tool and dye business.

At a special meeting on Thursday, Sept. 29, the city council approved a deal to add three years to a tax exemption program that gives Mistequay Group, LTD, reductions on taxable property and buildings in the city. Mistequay is currently in the second year of the deal, which is run by the state but needs local governmental approval in order for the businesses to receive benefits.

Mayor Mark Winslow said the original deal began in 2009 and the extension was a tough decision for the city.

“I feel like we came to a very generous compromise,” he said. “(Mistequay) wanted five years for the extension. We gave them three.”

According to Winslow, the deal will cost the city an additional $15,000 per year in tax revenue. He added that Mistequay has received a 100 percent reduction over the past two years, and pending state approval, will receive 100 percent deductions over the next two years. In 2014, the business will receive 75 percent in tax deductions; in 2015, 50 percent in deductions; and in 2016, 25 percent in deductions.

Mistequay belongs to a 16-business tool and dye collaborative with other businesses across the state. Winslow said many of those other businesses received a 10-year rate from their local governments.

Mistequay representative Sherry Carpenter came before the council seeking a five-year extension, and told the council that without the additional exemptions the businesses could struggle.

“As it is, we are just squeaking by,” she said. “Any additional money will help, and I think it will benefit both sides.”

During discussions, Winslow suggested to the council that they extend the agreement to one year, but after continued discussions, the council agreed to a three-year deal.

“(Carpenter) is standing there before us saying that if they do not get an extension, something could happen, and they could possibly leave the city,” Winslow said. “By the same token, I wanted to get some assurance from her that this will benefit us.”

Carpenter said Mistequay has added 15 jobs to the area in the two years since the original agreement, all of which pay over $17 per hour. She added that the business is hoping to continue to expand with the production of aerospace technology.

“These are people who live here and put money back into the city,” she said. “I think this is a win-win.”

Winslow said he was impressed with Mistequay’s operation.

“There is some highly skilled working going on there,” he said. “We will see how this plays out.”

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