L&O recommends tax break for business

Joe Mitchell and Keith Cressotti, plant manager of Toll Brothers, Inc. at Wed. L&O meeting. (Photo by Amy Porter)

WESTFIELD – At Wednesday’s meeting, the Legislative & Ordinance committee approved on a 3-0 recommendation a Special Tax Assessment for Toll Brothers, Inc. at 100 Apremont Way.
Joe Mitchell spoke on behalf of the city about the agreement, which he said amounted to tax forgiveness/investment by the city of approx. $22,213 over five years, during which Toll Brothers will invest upwards of $3.8 million, and create 35 manufacturing jobs. He said an STA was chosen because the investment by Toll Brothers is on equipment inside existing buildings, and was set at the minimums allowed by the state for the STA program. Mitchell said the city will still collect $78,700 in taxes during that period.
Keith Cressotti of West Springfield, plant manager at Toll Brothers, said the company has been doing business since November 2018 at 100 Apremont Way. He said as of now, they have spent $2 million on machinery and upgrades on the inside of the property in the first phase of growth, which will be in three phases. Cressotti said they now have 16 employees, and in the second phase will add another 16 jobs and also a lumber yard to supply some of the communities with lumber and building materials. He said this time next year they will have between 40 and 50 employees.
In response to a question, Cressotti said they make roof trusses and wall panels. He said he had worked at the location for 25 years for Western Mass Truss, and had been sub-contracting for Toll Brothers for four years before the business was purchased by Toll Brothers in November.
Mitchell said he and the Mayor have been working with Toll Brothers, Inc. for two years and looked at a number of properties before they acquired the property at 100 Apremont Way. Mitchell said the STA will allow Toll Brothers entry into a state economic development incentive program, which likes to see local government have “skin in the game.”
“I’m all for business to grow in the city, to create more jobs, and be more prosperous. On the other hand, it’s the cost of doing business sometimes. I’m torn on the city pitching in,” said L&O member Nicholas J. Morganelli, Jr.
Mitchell said the STA was a part of the negotiations to get Toll Brothers to come into the city.
L&O chair William Onyski said he was not a big fan of tax incentive programs, but he liked to look at them on an individual basis. “In my mind, for a $22,000 investment in making that area vibrant again is a small price to pay,” he said.

To Top