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Pfizer reaches deal with county on tax bill

By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has reached a deal to pay additional property tax to St. Louis County.

Pfizer received a 50 percent tax abatement on a new research building it opened in Chesterfield in 2009. The project generated 1,000 new jobs. But later that year, the company laid off 600 of those workers, and county officials considered requiring the company to pay 100 percent of its tax bill. The deal will require Pfizer to pay 80 percent.

St. Louis County Economic Council president Denny Coleman said the company invested more to construct and equip the building than originally planned.

"And they are keeping 400 good paying jobs here, in one of their new innovative arenas, in biologics," he said.

Coleman said he did not know how much additional money the higher tax bill would generate for the county and other taxing districts.

"Any time that we're talking about increased tax revenues it's good news for any of the taxing jurisdictions, although I would say that given the employment outlook, we would also like the jobs," he said.

Monsanto purchased the building from Pfizer, though the sale has yet to close. Coleman said the two companies will work out payment of the bills.

A spokesman for the Missouri Department of Economic Development said the state is considering its options to claw back some of the $2 million Pfizer received in state job training incentives.


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