At one of the final Fall River City Council sessions of the calendar year the eight-member group approved a tax increment financing agreement for a Rhode Island software firm that is looking to leave their current home base in Newport and relocate to Fall River.
The final agreement comes with an amendment for a local hiring preference tacked on.
"We believe relocating to Fall River is the right move for us."
Jason Hobart, as the firm’s Senior Vice President, said this to the city council during his case of why Fall River is right for Sec Zetta.
"Our software, applications and everything that we do helps organizations - large, small, private or public - address the challenges associated with data breaches,” Hobart said. “We help them avoid data breaches and control the information that they're sharing with their non-employees and contractors.”
The Senior Vice President state a list of credible contractors.
“We have customers that include Synchrony Bank, the Mayo Clinic, BBVA, Blue Cross of Idaho, Harvard-Pilgrim in Tiffany among many others,” Hobart said. “Of course, we're in the process of continuing to sell to and finalize several more large contracts as we go into this year."
The firm, Sec Zetta, was formed back in 2006. It is using $10 million of investment capital to grow its company.
"We'll be moving 23 jobs to Fall River over the next 5 years and create 70 new jobs totaling to 93,” Hobart said. “A big piece of what we do, based on the specialized skills of the people we hire, we're excited to have an average starting salary of 60,000 dollars. Of course, that goes up based on experience and specialized skills."
City Councilor Stephen Long covered the numbers over the 5-year T.I.F.
"Over the course of five years, we're talking about 195,000 dollars in the first year, 310,000 in the second, 330,000 in the third, 335,000 in the fourth as well as in the fifth,” he said. “The percentages go 100 percent, 90 percent, 80 percent, 70 percent and 60 percent.”
Long continued, “This being personal property and mostly high-tech electronics, the value on the personal property would come in on the first year as you bring it in but that would depreciate significantly in successive years."
Acting Fall River Mayor Cliff Ponte expressed his reservations about the T.I.F agreement being based on personal property taxes instead of more traditional real estate business.