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Officials: Plainview defense manufacturer adding space, jobs

Aerospace manufacturer Cox & Co. makes temperature-control equipment,

Aerospace manufacturer Cox & Co. makes temperature-control equipment, such as this water line heater, in Plainview. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A manufacturer of temperature-control and de-icing equipment for airplanes plans to rent more space in Plainview and add 30 jobs over the next three years, officials said.

Cox & Co. Inc. will lease 7,500 square feet of space at 1650 Old Country Rd. It already uses 90,400 square feet there for its headquarters, factory and testing operation.

The aerospace company moved to Plainview from Manhattan in 2008 and has since increased its payroll from about 160 workers to 185.

Employees earn, on average, $78,800 per year, excluding medical and retirement benefits, records show.

Cox is one of Long Island’s largest players in the aerospace and defense industry, which for decades served as the backbone of the regional economy.

The manufacturer’s expansion plan was endorsed Wednesday night by the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency with a 14-year extension of property tax breaks first awarded in 2008 to attract the company to the Island.

The property tax savings had been set to expire at the end of 2019 but will now last through 2033. Under the deal, the tax rate will rise 2.5 percent each year from 2020 through 2033. Officials did not give an estimate of the total savings.

Cox also received a sales-tax exemption Wednesday night on the purchase of construction materials, equipment, and supplies to outfit the additional space. The company plans to spend $900,000 on improvements.

Daniel P. Deegan, a lawyer representing Cox, said the tax incentives were crucial to keeping the company in Nassau.

“They require IDA assistance to remain competitive and to grow in the county,” he said.

Cox is owned entirely by its employees and has received help from New York State.

The company, started more than 70 years ago, designs and manufactures temperature-control and de-icing products for military and commercial aircraft. Customers include the Boeing Co. and Airbus Industries.

Cox supplied heating systems used on the Grumman Lunar Landing Module that took men to the moon.

The additional tax breaks for Cox were opposed by the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District. At a recent public hearing assistant superintendent for business Richard Cunningham said homeowners and other businesses would face “an undue burden and financial strain” because Cox wouldn’t pay as much in property taxes as it should through 2033.

IDA executive director Joseph J. Kearney said Wednesday night the impact on homeowners would be far greater if Cox left the county. He said other states had wooed the company.

“The $284 million in economic benefit from this project offsets the harm alleged by the school district,” Kearney said. “These are good-paying jobs, and these employees pay taxes, spend money in the community. . . . That would all be lost if Cox were to leave.”

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