Keith’s II in line for tax break
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | January 31,2013
Vyto Starinskas / Staff File Photo
Keith’s II plans to move its sports printing operation from Pittsford to the former Vermont National Guard armory on West Street in Rutland.
A tax deal for the new Keith’s II is headed to the Board of Aldermen.
The Community and Economic Development Committee voted Tuesday night to recommend a five-year tax stabilization agreement as Keith’s II moves into the former Vermont National Guard armory on West Street. The proposal now goes to the full board.
The state put the building up for sale following the completion of the new Army Reserve center off Post Road. Keith’s II does contract printing and embroidery for sports teams regionally and nationally. City officials used the tax stabilization program to encourage the company’s interest in the building.
Owner Daniel Keith said the space would help him expand. He said he would move 20 existing employees from Pittsford to Rutland and immediately add three to five more.
“They hope to expand that once they get up and running, but were unable to state what that would be in numbers,” Committee Chairwoman Sharon Davis said Wednesday.
Davis said the assessment will be frozen for five years at the sale price of $203,600 — prior to the sale, the building was assessed at $648,500 — after which it will be reassessed. This applies only to the municipal tax rate.
The company will also pay no personal property tax on its equipment for the first year, and then begin to pay portions of it, increasing at increments of 20 percent a year, until it reaches the full annual amount.
Brennan Duffy, executive director of the Rutland Redevelopment Authority, said the company was moving in about $300,000 of equipment, the tax on which would come to about $4,000. He said Keith’s II was looking at buying up to $200,000 more worth of equipment over the course of the stabilization period.
“I believe they are moving their equipment currently and are slated for a mid- to late-February opening,” Duffy said.
The city has had the authority to grant tax stabilization to industrial properties since the late 1970s, but it has been seldom used. Last year, voters added the authority to stabilize commercial properties to the Board of Aldermen, and the Vermont Farmers Food Center on West Street became the first beneficiary.
Duffy said he has not yet lined up any more applicants for tax stabilization.
“We are certainly hopeful,” he said. “We hope as Keith’s II becomes operational, we’ll be able to talk to people about this a little more.”