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$1.7M in tax concessions for dietary supplement maker A & Z

A Hauppauge manufacturer of dietary supplements for the Chinese market Thursday won initial approval from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency for about $1.7 million in tax concessions over 10 years.

A & Z Pharmaceutical Inc., which exports calcium supplements and over-the-counter drugs from its 180 Oser Ave. location, is in contract to purchase a 118,000-square-foot building at 350 Wireless Blvd., Hauppauge.

In exchange for the tax benefits, the company's owner, Emma Q. Li-Xu, agreed to add 30 employees within two years to its current workforce of 62, whose average salary is $49,677. Projected cost of buying and outfitting the Wireless Boulevard facility would be $28.6 million.

Li-Xu said that Chinese consumers have confidence in U.S. products overseen by the Food and Drug Administration. Officials said the company, whose revenue has reached $50 million year to date, had considered relocating to Pennsylvania before deciding to expand on Long Island.

The $1.7 million in tax concessions includes: a $655,500 sales tax exemption; a $225,225 mortgage recording tax exemption, and a $817,803 property tax abatement that decreases over the course of 10 years.

A & Z also is seeking $1.5 million in state tax credits through the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council.

In coordination with the physical expansion, Li-Xu said, A & Z plans to add prescription drugs and botanical supplements to its product line.

Gregory Casamento, 44, an attorney at Locke Lord LLP's Manhattan office, joined the IDA board Thursday. He fills the seat vacated in August by Steve Rossetti, a business broker in Huntington who had served on as a board member for eight years.

Casamento said that he joined the board in the hope of reversing the exodus of young adults from Long Island. He served in the Judge Advocate General's Corps in the Navy for 3 1/2 years.

Board members, appointed by the county legislature, serve without pay. The IDA is funded through applicants' fees.

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