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Manufacturer in Ballston to see $300K in tax breaks

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
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— Specialty Silicone Products will receive tax breaks from the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency to help with a planned expansion.

The IDA on Monday granted assistance estimated at more than $300,000 to help the maker of laboratory-quality silicone membranes and other products afford the project.

The $4 million addition will add clean-room manufacturing space and increase automation in the SSP building located at the Corporate Technology Park off Route 50.

Specialty Silicone currently employs 58 people and would add six more jobs if the expansion goes forward, company officials said in their application.

The incentives include an estimated $238,000 exemption from sales tax on building materials, a $20,000 mortgage tax exemption and a property tax exemption worth between $58,000 and $108,000 over 10 years.

The expansion would add 18,750 square feet to an existing 33,000-square-foot manufacturing building. It has already been approved by the Ballston town Planning Board.

The company, founded in 1988 by former employees of GE Silicones in Waterford, makes advanced silicone rubber materials used in aerospace, telecommunications, military, automotive, consumer and medical/biotech products.

The main product driving the expansion plan is a silicone septum — or sealed membrane — used in research laboratories and quality control labs around the world. Because those labs are measuring particles down to parts per billion, the company said, customers want the septums made in a clean-room environment.

In other business, IDA board members agreed to update an economic study the agency did in both 2006 and 2011 looking at the regionwide economic impact of activity at Saratoga Race Course.

The 2006 study put the annual spending tied directly or indirectly to thoroughbred racing at $250 million, while the second study in 2011 came up with a $200 million figure — a drop racing supporters attributed to the national economic downturn.

The intent of updating the study is to show state officials that the economic impact of racing at Saratoga extends well beyond the track and the people who work there — it includes the restaurants and hospitality industry throughout the greater Capital Region and eastern Mohawk Valley, and the spending by farms where thoroughbred horses are bred and raised.

“The feeling is that thoroughbred racing is still the key to tourism for the nine-county region,” said Rod Sutton, the IDA board member who pushed for updating the study.

A timetable for the update hasn’t been established.

 
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