RI approves tax break for Hasbro expansion

AP News
Posted: Apr 25, 2011 8:23 PM
RI approves tax break for Hasbro expansion

Toy maker Hasbro Inc. will receive up to $1.6 million in state sales tax breaks for its plans to add nearly 300 jobs to its Rhode Island payroll, the state's Economic Development Corp. announced after its board approved the incentives Monday.

They incentives are part of a program designed to encourage companies to relocate or expand in the state.

The expansion will create an estimated 284 professional and administrative positions within three years.

Hasbro Chief Operations Officer David Hargreaves said the company has outgrown its existing facilities. The $24 million expansion is slated for downtown Providence, he said.

The new office could be open as early as next year.

"Our facilities in Pawtucket and East Providence are now full," Hargreaves said. "In order to facilitate continued growth we need a third site."

The state's incentive program calculates the size of the tax break based on the projected income tax revenue to be generated by new jobs. Only jobs paying salaries higher than the state median wage qualify for the program.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who leads the EDC board, noted Hasbro's long history in the state and said he saw the company's need to expand first-hand during a recent tour.

"There's no doubt that there's no more room in that facility for any more people," said Chafee, an independent.

Hasbro is based in Pawtucket and employs 1,400 people in Rhode Island.