Roche makes a tax deal on doomed Nutley site

Nutley, NJ, may be losing Roche's ($RHHBY) big R&D facility, but it now has a consolation prize. The Swiss drugmaker agreed to hold off on demolishing one building. That concession will keep Nutley's property tax revenues stable for this year and next.

Roche recently announced it would stop operating the R&D campus, which straddles Nutley's border with neighboring Clifton, NJ. That's next year. The campus is set for complete shutdown in 2015. Roche is a major taxpayer in the region, and the prospect of losing property tax and other revenues as been a blow to local governments.

As The Record reports, Roche officials agreed to pay $9.4 million in Nutley taxes this year, and $10 million next year. The company also agreed to keep its Clifton tax bill at about $4.5 million for both years. Plus, Roche is negotiating over a $3 million, 5-year tax abatement deal, which doesn't run out for two more years. The company may give up that tax break as well.

Local officials said the tax deal will give them time to figure out how to "repurpose" the Roche site. "We look forward to working with Roche ... to attract a new owner for the property in a strategic manner," Nutley mayor Alphonse Petracco told the newspaper.

The Nutley shutdown is part of a company-wide restructuring, prompted in part by the company's 2009 buyout of U.S.-based Genentech. Rather than keep Roche's heritage site in New Jersey, the company has opted to shift operations to Genentech's South San Francisco, CA, hub.

- read the Record piece

Related Articles:
Roche sees growth in China and Switzerland amid Nutley closure
Roche move spotlights NJ's shrinking role in biopharma R&D
Roche slashes 1,000 jobs in closure of Nutley R&D site

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