MALTA -- GlobalFoundries is getting more tax breaks.
The Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency on Monday voted to approve an application filed by the computer-chip maker that will exempt the company from paying sales taxes on the construction of a new administration building as well as up to $5.7 billion worth of manufacturing equipment.
The tax breaks are valued at around $305 million and come in addition to the $1.2 billion incentive package being provided by the state and previously approved sales tax exemptions valued at nearly $140 million.
GlobalFoundries officials, who have pledged to create at least 1,200 jobs in exchange for the state aid, described the IDA's action as a win for the company, but said the decision was not unanticipated.
"This is no different from what any other manufacturing company that comes to Saratoga County would get," GlobalFoundries spokesman Travis Bullard said after the IDA vote in Malta. "The fact that our numbers are larger is just a function of our larger investment."
GlobalFoundries officials approached the IDA about the sales tax exemptions in part because of uncertainty from the state, which considers such exemptions on manufacturing equipment on a case-by-case basis.
Company officials say they still intend to make their case to the state, but that they sought exemptions from the IDA to serve as a safety net if the state does not rule in their favor.
"That little bit of subjectivity from the state introduced some risk for us," Bullard said.
The bulk of the tax breaks approved by the IDA on Monday relate to the costly manufacturing equipment GlobalFoundries will purchase to outfit its factory, or fab. Around $6.4 million in tax breaks are connected to a new 220,000-square-foot administration building the company announced earlier this year and to fixtures and equipment that will be used outside the factory space.
Two public hearings were held before the IDA vote, but no members of the public spoke either in favor or against the tax breaks when given the opportunity to do so.
One IDA member, Charles Hanehan, did vote against the exemptions, however.
A dairy farmer and Saratoga town councilman, Hanehan said his vote was based on the belief that the company would move ahead with its project with or without receiving the tax breaks, and that municipalities in the county could use the sales tax revenue.
"That's (sales tax revenue) one of the first things we look at every month," he said. "It's extremely important, especially to a small town without a large tax base."
IDA member Art Johnson, the Wilton supervisor, defended the tax breaks as ordinary for companies that commit to creating or maintaining jobs in the county. But he acknowledged the numbers were harder to fathom given the scale of the construction project, considered the largest in North America.
"The numbers are larger, but the principle is the same," he said.
The vote comes as GlobalFoundries prepares to break ground on its new administration building at the end of this month. The new building, similar in size to three Super Walmart stores, will be built adjacent to its factory at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta.
GlobalFoundries employees have meanwhile also begun to move into the company's existing administration building. There are now 450 employees working for the company in New York.
The company also began to receive tools for the factory earlier this month. Installation of the tools will take place later this summer, and low-volume production will begin in late 2012.