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    Mass. OK’s $34m in tax breaks for local companies

    Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff/File
    The TripAdvisor office in Newton has a game room for employees to blow off steam.

    A Massachusetts economic development board on Wednesday approved $34 million in state and local tax breaks for more than a dozen companies, including TripAdvisor and Vistaprint, that promised to create new jobs and investment in the state.

    The awards included $29 million in local property tax breaks that have already received preliminary approval from cities and towns, plus another $4.7 million in state tax credits that were made public by the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council for the first time on Wednesday.

    Combined, the companies promised to add more than 1,300 jobs and invest nearly $417 million in 17 projects scattered throughout the state.


    “We are beginning to see multiple decisions by companies to grow by hundreds of jobs,” said Greg Bialecki, secretary of housing and economic development. “We were excited to see that.”

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    But Bialecki also said that the state has not needed to offer as much in tax credits as it did several years ago under the state’s Economic Development Incentive Program to encourage companies to expand. The state issued $21 million in state credits this year, less than half the $44.5 million amount it awarded in 2010.

    The largest state tax break, worth $1.1 million, went to Kettle Cuisine LLC, a gourmet soup maker that has promised to add 110 jobs in a new $20 million facility in Lynn. The company, located in Chelsea, also received a 15-year local property tax break worth $4.5 million from Lynn. Kettle will retrofit 133,000 square feet of space and add 67,500 square feet of manufacturing space.

    Travel website TripAdvisor, which promised to create 250 new jobs as part of its move from Newton to Needham, received a $1.8 million property tax break from the city and another $450,000 in state tax credits. The company plans to lease an existing, 430,000-square-foot building and move into a new 230,000-square-foot building. The total project is worth $101 million, most of which will be paid for by the property owner.

    Vistaprint, a graphic design and printing firm, won $350,000 in state tax credits and $1.2 million in local property tax breaks to expand its Lexington headquarters. The company promised to add 300 jobs and retain another 880.


    Quest Diagnostics, a medical testing services firm, received a 15-year property tax break worth $17 million to create a new laboratory in a former Hewlett-Packard facility in Marlborough. The company plans to move 1,200 jobs to the facility — including 246 new jobs — and invest $77 million in the project.

    Mirbeau Hospitality Services, a hotel management company, won a $504,167 property tax break to open a new 50-room hotel on an 8.3-acre site in Plymouth. The $21.6 million project is expected to create 140 jobs.

    Other companies that received state tax breaks included two units of Lancaster Colony Corp. in Wareham ($625,000); FIBA Technologies in Littleton ($772,644); Ken’s Food in Marlborough ($600,000); W.B. Mason Co. in Brockton ($300,000); Schneider Electric ($285,000); Latino Food Distributors in Springfield ($95,550); Nash Manufacturing & Grinding Services in Springfield ($26,000); and General Fire Extinguishers in Taunton ($23,000). All the companies also received local tax breaks, including $1.2 million for Schneider alone.

    The state also offers companies aid under several other programs, including one for life sciences companies and another for the film industry.

    Todd Wallack can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @twallack.