Westfield councilmember asks for more consideration for tax abatements


The Westfield City Council approved tax abatements for two companies set to construct new commercial buildings. However, at least one councilmember said he would like to see more thought put into the city’s consideration of abatement plans.

By state statute, the city of Westfield can allow a property tax abatement – a property tax deduction from the assessed valuation – for construction of a new structure or a rehabilitation of property in an Economic Revitalization Area. That abatement can last between one and 10 years.

Although the city council approved two identical 10-year abatement schedules for two businesses on Feb. 12, Councilmember Jon Dartt said he’d like to see the city make sure abatements are appropriate for the applying businesses individually, rather than just follow a standard plan.

“I’m suggesting as we move forward that we look at abatement schedules that are not reduced by 10 percent a year, and we look at abatements that can be from one to 10 years, not just a standard 10-year abatement that has been used in the past,” Dartt said.

The abatements granted on Feb. 12 were both 10-year schedules with 100 percent abatement for the first year, reduced by 10 percent each year thereafter.

The recipients are JBD Holding, LLC, operating as Duramark Technologies and Southside Park, LLC.

Duramark is a label printing company that produces branding, safety and instruction labels, metal plants, reflective labels and smart labels for industries including agriculture, construction, transportation, automotive, marine and health care.

A $3 million, 1,340-square-foot addition will be added to the business at 16450 Southpark Dr.

Southside Park, LLC will construct two, 22,500-square-foot move-in ready shell buildings at 16463 and 16467 Southpark Drive, with no immediate plans for potential tenants. However, representatives from Southside Park, LLC said there are discussions underway to lease that space.

City staff added that Westfield does not have a large inventory of shell buildings, which would make the site attractive for businesses looking to open locally, but not build.

The project value of that construction is $4.3 million.

Dartt noted that the abatement passed for Isotopia in January was also a 10-year schedule, but the year-by-year reduction in the abatement was customized.

The council approved both abatement plans by a 6-1 vote, with Dart voting no to each.