Jackson Lab Hearing

October 21, 2011

Hartford, CT – A day-long hearing Thursday centered on the nonprofit Jackson Laboratory bringing 320 jobs to Farmington over the next 10 years was held before the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee.

Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-Stafford), member on the committee listened as executives from Jackson Labs presented their case for why the state should invest $291 million in the project.

“We need to gather as much information as possible to make an educated decision during the upcoming jobs special session,” said Senator Tony Guglielmo.

“I am concerned however, that the state needs some assurances that the investment will be a wise one. Government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in the market place. We would essentially be picking Jackson Lab as a winner in the world of genome research,” added Senator Guglielmo.

The proposed state plan for Jackson Lab includes:

o $192 million forgivable loan at 1 percent
o $99 million grant for research
o Ownership of the title to a 173,000 square foot facility on state-owned land free-of-charge (after 20 yrs and 600 jobs created)

As a non-profit, Jackson will not pay any corporate taxes to the state and no property taxes to Farmington. Senator Guglielmo expressed concern over this asking, “Is there a pilot (payment in lieu of taxes) payment to Farmington?”

Commissioner Smith responded that while the details have not yet been written into the projection, Farmington could be eligible for $700,000 to $1.2 million per year from the state as payment in lieu of taxes. This money is in addition to the $291 million price tag.

Jackson Lab says it would employ and generate an estimated:

o 320 highly paid scientists and technicians in the first 10 years
o 800 construction jobs

In an econometric model known as the REMI model, the state projects the potential spin-off jobs created at 4,000.

Catherine Smith, the state Economic Development Commissioner, told legislators that North Carolina and San Diego have proven that there has been growth in spin-off jobs that could be duplicated in Farmington.

There are a lot of questions that Senator Guglielmo would like to have answered before the special jobs session on October 26.