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Tax incentive to West Babylon firm keeps 85 jobs in town

The Babylon Town Industrial Development Agency has offered a West Babylon company a tax incentive that will keep 85 jobs in the town.

Visual Citi Inc., which manufactures displays and signage for companies such as the clothing company Armani Exchange, is moving from a 43,000-square-foot space in West Babylon to a 142,000-square-foot space in Lindenhurst. The property tax abatement, which does not include school taxes, starts at 60 percent and runs for 15 years, gradually increasing to the full amount, said the IDA's chief executive, Robert Stricoff. The company expects to add 20 employees over the next three years, he said.

Visual Citi moved to the town in 2009 from Queens, said the company's owner, Abbas Devji. At the time the company was given a 10-year tax abatement from the town, he said, which saved Visual Citi between $250,000 and $300,000.

The company grew from about 25 employees to 85, Devji said, and he began looking to move to a bigger space and get a better deal. Hauppauge and New Jersey were considered, he said, before the Babylon IDA made its offer, which he said will save his company $1.2 million.

"I love Long Island and I wanted to stay on Long Island," he said. "Now we can keep the jobs here and keep growing here."

The abatement is one of four deals that the IDA has completed so far this year, Stricoff said.

Crescent Packing Corp., J.M. Haley Corp. and Icon Central Laboratories, Inc., all in East Farmingdale, have signed deals that along with Visual Citi have resulted in retaining 365 jobs and creating 95 new jobs in the town, Stricoff said. Investment in the town from the firms is $10 million, he said, while tax savings to the companies is estimated at $5.2 million.

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