New business seeking tax exemption certificate

FLINT TWP. — A public hearing set by the township board for October 6 at 7 p.m. is to consider an application for an Industrial Facilities Exemption Certificate to a business promising 30 new high-tech jobs in the next six years.

4D Systems, 4130 Marketplace, have requested a 12-year exemption. The business is located in an established Industrial Development District off Bristol Road.

“4D Systems has been in business for three years, specializing in software sales, engineering services and Robotics Systems build,’’ according a required letter from the president, Jean- Pierre Rasaiah.

4D moved to the township earlier this year from Auburn Hills, said Tracey Tucker, township building director. Although located in the designated I-69 Trade Corridor, 4D’s relocation is unrelated and not subject to the corridor authority’s approval, she said.

“These are people I visited about a year ago,” Tucker said. “They were looking at property here (and) had just gotten international contracts and their building was too small. If they keep growing the way they have, they will probably add to (the Market Place facility).”

The 12,640 square-foot building, which sits on 2.47 acres, was the last vacant building in that industrial district, which is conveniently near Bishop International Airport, Tucker said.

“Our business growth has driven the need for our relocation to and investment in the new facility,’’ Rasaiah said in his application letter. “The new facility was needed to remain competitive for the growing size of our projects as well as our growing staff.”

An accompanying list of 4D’s current and future investments included an indication that the company expects to hire five new employees each year through 2019.

Tucker added that they must meet that employment promise in order to keep the exemption status. These are high-tech jobs bringing more residents into the area, she said.

The company has already doubled its staff since moving here and is looking at doubling it again. Currently, 4D has about 70 employees but fewer on-site because employees consult all over the world, Tucker said.

When she talked to them last year, they were negotiating contracts in Holland, Brazil and Germany. They send employees to a site for a year to do training, Tucker said.

All of their creative work and product testing is done here.

“It is really neat to go in there and see these huge, animated robotic arms (one of 4Ds products),” Tucker said.

Trustee George Menoutes raised questions about the 12-year duration of the exemption considering generation of only 30 jobs over that term.

Tucker said these are not minimum wage jobs.

“This is more complex than a lot of the manufacturing (exemptions) we do,’’ she said.

She said the board has the option of setting the number of years for the exemption, during the public hearing next month. Normally, it is ten years, she said.

Documentation submitted by 4D indicates it has invested $488,100 in the facility including the purchase price; security system installation and an air supply upgrade.

4D’s complete application for the Industrial Facilities Exemption Certification must be submitted to the State Tax Commission by October 31 to ensure processing and certification by the 2015 tax year.

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