Monday, July 27, 2009

Pratt & Whitney to leave Cheshire?

As many of you know, here's some old news reported by the NHRs Cara Baruzzi:

Workers are bracing for the possibility that Pratt & Whitney’s local plant will close next year after company officials said Tuesday they are considering shutting down the Cheshire Engine Center, which employs about 825 workers, as well as another business unit in East Hartford...

From a town perspective, Pratt & Whitney is Cheshire’s second-largest private employer, after Bozzuto’s Inc., and generates $136,000 in revenue to the town annually, Sitko said.

That's NBD. This is "excellent" news. Councilman Turf and Councilman Truth must be so excited. We can now use this as the impetus for stimulus turf all over town!

But seriously... this isn't because of the lack of leadership in town. It's more Hartford and Washington that caused this.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Without commercial businesses to tax, homeowners will pay more. Maybe the economic wizards last fall who said "the teachers shouldn'tn be blamed for what happened on Wall Street" ought to realize ---no economy, no tax revenue.

Anonymous said...

If the $136,000 in tax revenue figure is correct for the town's second largest employer one just has to wonder how that number can be so low. Assuming the town's average home owner pays about $5,000 per year Pratt is being taxed at a rate which equals the payments made by just 28 average town home owners. The shift change traffic in and out of that facility leads one to figure that the majority of its employees don't even live in town either.

Clearly it is time to cut spending if our second largest employer pays only $136,000 in taxes to this town.

Anonymous said...

P&W's taxes are so low compared to Bozzuto's for a few reasons. P&W is in a single, smaller building compared to Bozzutos complex of 3. P&W does not have a fleet of over 300+ cars, trucks, and trailers registered in Cheshire. P&W recieved numerous state and local tax breaks to occupy that building for a set number of years. That term is probably coming to an end so it will save them even more to leave now and blame the economy.

And a majority of the staff do not live in town. The access to I-84 and I-691 allow them to come and go with little notice to most town residents.

Anonymous said...

What difference does it make if P & W employees live in town? We've lived in town over 50 years. My husband works at Pratt. He started in No. Haven. Then that plant closed so he had to go to E. Hartford. He wanted to transfer to Cheshire, but thank God that didn't happen.

The group that doesn't live in town, but should, are the teachers. Most live out of town and contribute nothing to Cheshire therefore they could care less about how high the taxes go.

The town manager said that with Pratt planning on leaving, this is exactly why we have such a large fund balance. What he should have said was that he'll do what he can to keep them in town. Guess he doesn't care who loses their job as long as he doesn't.

Anonymous said...

"P&W's taxes are so low compared to Bozzuto's for a few reasons."

Interesting thoughts on low taxes. And the smaller building sounds interesting too. If memory is correct it is a small over 200,000 sq ft?

The good news about the low taxes is basically , LET THEM LEAVE- -at $136,000 per year no doubt the town loses money on this deal, home owners subsidized Pratt to be here and in return our roads are clogged several times a day as people leave as fast as their cars will go towards the interstate.

If most or all of the workers lived in town at least the place would be the source of tax payments by 850 town residents.

Anonymous said...

With P&W, it's all a shell game. Engine plant came to Cheshire from Southington when Pratt closed their production and refurbishment facility off of Queen Street; now it's go to Singapore...$136K in taxes is surprisingly low....

Anonymous said...

This proposed move should not be a surprise to the informed. Back in March of this year Pratt was looking for a person to head up the operations in Singapore. If you do not pay attention to the details and track what is going on then the normal everyday news clippings will be a surprise. The Town Manger & Economic Dev Mgr. should be reading the employment opportunities of the local firms so they can have a heads up on what is going on.

Anonymous said...

"The Town Manger & Economic Dev Mgr. should be reading the employment opportunities of the local firms so they can have a heads up on what is going on."

If all the town receives from Pratt is $136,000 per year in taxes why would anyone want the town to have 2 high paid town employees spending time following a firm which delivers only $136,000 per year to town coffers. The officials you suggested no doubt make a total of at $300,000 per year in salary and benefits. They need to be watching for firms which are going to deliver 500 thousand or a million a year in taxes.

Only a careless government would micromanage peanut revenue sources with high paid officials.

The real question is how did this one town get into a deal with a 900 person manufacturing facility and the tax revenue it generates is next to nothing? How about the other industrial park occupants, are their tax bills similarly small?

Anonymous said...

Taxes are not set based on the number of employees. Taxes are dependent on building size, machinery, vehicles. P&W never registered any cars or trucks in Cheshire due to the mill rate. How much of a tax break did they recieve to come here?

Anonymous said...

"Taxes are not set based on the number of employees."

It should be quite clear to people that conducting major overhauls of very complex mechanical systems such as modern gas turbines is not only people intensive but equipment intensive as well. It would be hard to believe that each of those 900 was working with only a complete $89 set of Craftsman wrenches. Even typical office workers need computers, software,networks and printers etc which add up if you have almost 1,000 work stations. No doubt they use quite special and very costly computer programs to assist in their overhaul business.

$136,000 seems way too light. In fact considering what residents pay for their homes annually Pratt seems to be getting away paying taxes for a small fraction of what they should. This is one local tax payer who hopes they will be replaced with a business which pays its own way. Locally, even no business might prove less costly in the long run.