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IDA grants tax breaks hoping to attract $20 million investment by NPD Group

The consumer research firm, with 623 employees in Port Washington, is considering renovation here or at another of its 11 U.S. facilities.

The NPD Group is seeking tax breaks to

The NPD Group is seeking tax breaks to renovate its Port Washington headquarters, but says it is also considering other sites. Photo Credit: Albert Orlando

Nassau County granted another 10 years in tax breaks to The NPD Group Inc. last week in hopes of preserving the company’s current employment of 623 in Port Washington.

The county’s Industrial Development Agency backed a $20 million proposal by the retail and consumer analytics firm to renovate its headquarters at 900 West Shore Road and upgrade information technology equipment there.

NPD also is considering making the investment at its Manhattan office or another office outside of New York State.

“We have offices around the world,” Chris Christophorou, the company’s general counsel, told the IDA’s board of directors on Wednesday. “We have options in New York City and elsewhere.”

Without the IDA’s help, the renovation and resulting employment growth would occur at one of NPD’s other facilities, the company said in its aid application. NPD said it moved 20 workers from Port Washington to Manhattan earlier this year.

IDA executive director Joseph J. Kearney said NPD isn’t bluffing. “We want NPD to stay in the county and to grow here.”

The IDA board unanimously approved a sales-tax exemption of up to $1.7 million on the purchase of equipment, construction materials and other supplies. It also granted a 10-year extension of property tax reductions begun 10 years ago to support prior improvements at the headquarters.

The new deal, which starts Jan. 1, freezes the property tax rate for three years, followed by increases of 0.73 percent in each of the next seven years.

Under the existing 10-year deal, which ends this year, NPD has made PILOT payments — payments in lieu of taxes — that are $900,000 higher than the total taxes owed on the 117,000-square-foot headquarters, based on current assessed property values, according to Daniel P. Deegan, the company’s outside attorney.

With the new deal, he said, “we’re looking to get back to the right level” of PILOT payments.

Roslyn School District attorney Michael Raniere said the tax incentives would cost the district $200,000, “which will have to be borne by the other taxpayers.”

IDA board secretary Timothy Williams, while acknowledging the district’s concern, said it could face a much larger tax loss. “What’s the impact if they left?” he said, referring to NPD.

In return for Nassau’s help, NPD has agreed to add at least 11 people to its Port Washington workforce, according to IDA records. The company employs more than 1,000 people at 27 offices around the globe.

Records show the average annual salary for workers ranges from $94,500 for salespeople to $180,500 for top executives.

NPD “has far exceeded its projected job growth under the current PILOT agreement,” company CFO Thomas A. Lynch wrote in the application for IDA aid. “It is unlikely that we can continue to create jobs at the same rate. Now we need to focus our efforts on retaining key employees and attracting top recruits in order to remain competitive.”

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