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Suffolk pledges $9.8M to keep Broadridge

Broadridge Financial Solutions' printing and processing center in

Broadridge Financial Solutions' printing and processing center in Edgewood is seen on Wednesday, May 9, 2012. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa

Suffolk County promised Thursday to give $9.8 million in tax breaks to Broadridge Financial Solutions, if it keeps its 1,600-person operation in Islip.

The county's industrial development agency approved a $2.6-million sales tax exemption on $75 million in equipment and a 15-year reduction in property taxes, valued at $7.2 million.

Broadridge, founded in East Northport in 1987, assembles annual reports, proxy statements, ballots and other documents for mailing to investors from four buildings in Edgewood and Brentwood. The company, with sales of $2.2 billion last year, is being courted by other states to move the operation.

The property tax cut would be for Broadridge's two factories. Islip's industrial development agency is expected to provide a property tax deal for one warehouse while the other may close, officials said.

The tax breaks would extend for about 20 years the savings that Broadridge enjoys from earlier government support.

Still, Suffolk IDA chairman Jim Morgo said there was a possibility that Broadridge would leave. (Company executives said there are no plans to move the Lake Success headquarters, where about 200 people work.) "I think this threat is real," Morgo said.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott visited the Islip factories Monday.

Broadridge isn't promising to create jobs in return for aid, though company consultant Thomas Stringer said 50 people could be hired. The average wage is $75,000 per year.

Thursday's action by the Suffolk IDA follows an offer by the state Power Authority to reduce Broadridge's electric bill by $3.8 million over seven years. The Long Island Power Authority is considering a $2-million reduction over the same period.

Broadridge said its Islip utility costs are $5 million a year.

Kenneth Adams, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's economic development czar, said Broadridge received state tax credits in 2007 that extend to 2017 and are "valued in the tens of millions of dollars.

"Few companies have received this level of long-term financial support from New York State," Adams said, "and we want to continue that partnership in order to keep these jobs on Long Island."

The Suffolk IDA Thursday also backed the expansion of Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. The East End beer-maker has bought a 3-acre parcel in Peconic for a factory, bottling operation, tasting room and offices.

Rich Vandenburgh, who founded the company with John Liegey in 2009, said they hope to double the workforce to eight people within two years.

The IDA approved tax breaks of about $160,000, including a $120,000 reduction in property taxes over 15 years, for the $3 million project.

In addition, the Simon Property Group received final approval for $3 million in tax cuts over 10 years to support its $40-million expansion of Walt Whitman mall. A 68,000-square-foot addition is planned, along with improvements to the mall's appearance along Route 110.

Opponents of the project, including the South Huntington Union Free School District, asked the IDA to exclude property taxes from the incentive package. James Kaden, president of the South Huntington school board, said, "These abatements will have a negative long-term effect on the homeowners."

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