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Dunkin' Brands seeks extension of tax break

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  July 10, 2013 09:57 AM

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Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., headquartered in Canton, could move to another town unless selectmen find a way to entice them to stay.

At a selectmen's meeting, the chairman of Canton's Economic Development Committee, Gene Manning, said the company was exploring options for relocation.

However, he added that if selectmen extend a tax deal for 130 Royall St., which the company occupies, the business would probably stay in Canton.

“Dunkin' Brands is doing due diligence and would like to remain in the community, but as part of their management of their organization, they are looking outside of Canton as well,” Manning said.

Dunkin' Brands has been courted by the new University Station complex in Westwood, according to Manning.

The building at 130 Royall St. is owned by Boston-based real estate investment and development corporation H. N. Gorin. Boston Mutual Insurance owns the land beneath it, Manning said.

As part of its negotiations with Dunkin Brands, H.N. Gorin is asking the town to extend the current 10-year "tax increment financing" deal for five years.

Tax increment financing reduces H.N. Gorin’s annual property tax payments by 20 percent. Agreeing to the five-year exentsion would likely be the final negotiating point to get Dunkin' Brands to agree to a 15-year lease agreement with H.N. Gorin.

According to Manning, with a tax increment financing extension, H.N. Gorin would be able to pass on savings to Dunkin Brands, making a more competitive lease agreement.

Dunkin Brands spokesman Karen Raskopf declined to comment Wednesday about whether the tax deal would lead to a lease agreement.

Dunkin Brands moved to Canton from Randolph in 2005 and its lease expires on June 30, 2015. With its corporate tenant, the 175,000-square-foot building produces about $350,000 annually in taxes for Canton, Manning said.

The company also has 500 employees working at its headquarters, 10 percent of whom are Canton residents, according to Manning.

In an email to selectmen, Canton Director of Assessing Karen Zukauskas said the Board of Assessors has recommended extending the tax increment financing agreement for five years.

The current assessment of the building is $16.5 million, according to the email.

Nearby businesses all want Dunkin Brands to stay where it is, according to Manning. He added that the corporation is also a member of the Canton Association of Business and Industry and has been a financial supporter of youth sports and schools.

Selectmen voted to support the assessor’s recommendation, with the condition that the deal would lead to a 15-year lease agreement. A Town Meeting vote is required for the extension to take effect.

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