Graphic Edge gets city tax break
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Report | March 10,2014
STAFF FILE PHOTO
A city panel is recommending a tax stabilization deal for The Graphic Edge, an Iowa-based company that bought Keith’s II, a screen-printing company located in the former armory on West Street.
The city is poised to welcome The Graphic Edge with a tax break.
The Iowa-based company bought Keith’s II, a screen-printing company located in the former armory on West Street, earlier this year. Thursday, the Community and Economic Development Committee voted unanimously to recommend the full board offer the company a tax stabilization deal.
The deal applies only to the personal property tax, which assesses business equipment. While The Graphic Edge bought the businesses, Dan Keith retained ownership of the building, leasing it to the new owners of his old company.
Keith got a tax stabilization deal on the building last year, when the board froze the assessment at the sale price of $203,600 for five years, after which the building will be reassessed. The board also agreed to charge Keith’s II no personal property tax in the first year, and then increase the tax bill by 20 percent increments until the business is paying the full assessment.
The committee’s recommendation Thursday gives The Graphic Edge the same deal, only starting over at year one.
Pat Venteicher, director of operations for The Graphic Edge, said the new owners retained all 42 of the existing employees and have brought on two more since Feb. 1. He said they have brought in $175,000 worth of new equipment to the facility and expect to add another $150,000 to $200,000 more in the course of the year.
Venteicher said The Graphic Edge hopes to double Keith’s II’s production in the next three to five years and that none of the production capacity will be moved to Iowa, because everything produced from the Rutland facility is shipped in New England. In fact, he said they may bring surplus production from Iowa to Rutland.
“We don’t plan to move anything out of Rutland because we don’t have anywhere to move it,” Venteicher said.
Should the company ever outgrow the armory, Venteicher said he expects they would look for another facility in the immediate area.
Board President David Allaire said the company’s efforts were exactly what the city hoped to encourage through the tax stabilization program, and said that in the case of an expansion the board would be “very interested” in working with the company to make sure that expansion was kept in the city.