Shire top recipient of state tax credits
Life Sciences Center distributes $21.2m to companies vowing to create 946 jobs
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center handed out $21.2 million in tax credits to 28 companies, with high-flying Shire HGT of Lexington garnering the top award of $3 million, bringing its three-year total under the program to $15.2 million.
The tax credits are designed to both help life sciences companies add jobs in Massachusetts and reward those that do. The 28 companies that received awards this year promised to add 946 jobs. The Life Sciences Center is authorized to issue $25 million in tax credits each year, but chose to hand out nearly $4 million less this year.
Some of the life sciences tax credits target smaller, struggling companies, but the big awards tend to go to rapidly expanding firms that in many cases probably don’t need the tax credits in order to grow. The credits can be used to offset taxes that the company owes or be used to generate cash by selling them back to the state.
Organogenesis, a Canton manufacturer of artificial skin, received an $857,000 tax credit this year, bringing its three-year total to $1.6 million. The firm also received a $7.4 million grant from the Life Sciences Center in 2009.Other big winners this year include AVEO Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge ($2.3 million), Biogen Idec MA of Weston ($1.8 million), Ironwood Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge ($1.8 million), Momenta Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge ($1.2 million), and PerkinElmer Inc. of Waltham ($1.2 million).
Not every company awarded a tax credit ends up using it. Over the previous two years, seven companies declined the tax credits they were given. Another 13 companies either terminated their tax credits or returned them to the state after being unable to meet the job target.