South Portland likely to extend tax break for National Semiconductor

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SOUTH PORTLAND — City councilors are poised to approve a one-year extension of a tax break for National Semiconductor.

The move is calculated to facilitate growth at the plant after the company is acquired by Texas Instruments in a $6.5 billion deal.

The city and National Semiconductor have had a tax increment financing agreement for more than a decade, which reimburses company for half its property taxes.

City Manager Jim Gailey wrote in a memo to councilors that the one-year extension will allow the city to work with Texas Instruments to assess the company’s intentions to invest in the South Portland facility, which could result in talks of a more long-term tax deal.

“We’re proposing this to give National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments a smooth transition over the next six months,” Gailey said. The acquisition is expected to be completed later this summer.

Representatives from National Semiconductor said the TIF would position the manufacturer for post-acquisition capital investments, which could result in more jobs at the plant.

Under the terms of the one-year extension, National Semiconductor would be reimbursed for 40 percent of its city property taxes. The other 60 percent would go to the city’s general fund.

Councilors on Monday praised National Semiconductor for its investments in South Portland jobs, the philanthropic work it has undertaken in the community and for being a good corporate neighbor.

They also expressed unanimous support for the TIF extension.

“I’m perfectly happy with this extension,” Councilor Tom Coward said.

The council will take up the issue on Wednesday, July 6.

Mario Moretto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or mmoretto@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @riocarmine.

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