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AMD's big break

Editor's note: This is the third installment of Spotlight Newspaper's series on AMD coming to the town of Malta.

AMD Fab Technologies Inc., the subsidiary of Advanced Micro Devices that will be building a microchip manufacturing facility in Malta, recently applied for $27.8 million in tax exemptions relating to the construction of the $4.6 billion project.

Those millions are only the tip of a tax break iceberg that AFT will reap by locating in Saratoga County, however. By building in an Empire Zone, the project qualifies for a slew of breaks that are included in the state's $1.2 billion incentive package.

The Empire Zone Program qualifies the project for a waiver of the 4 percent sales tax, but the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency can provide relief from the remaining 3 percent county tax on the estimated $807 million in construction costs. The $27.8 million in tax breaks would cover the whole 7 percent.

It's going to be the biggest project for the IDA as far as projects we have helped in working with the [Saratoga Economic Development Corporation], said Mike Valentine, senior planner with the SCIDA.

In essence, the scale is the only remarkable part of the project; the IDA will treat it as any other initiative.

"We're doing what we're set up to do, it's just happens to be a very large project," said Valentine.

The SCIDA is a part of the county planning department, and is controlled by a seven-member board appointed by the county board of supervisors. The AFT facility will be its 83rd project in its 20 years of operation.

It often works with the SEDC, a private organization, funded by Saratoga County and private donations. It primarily helps businesses apply for Empire State Zone and other benefits.

"We have a marketing agreement with [the IDA]," said SEDC President Dennis Brobston. "We bring them projects that fit their criteria. The AMD and Foundry project is a manufacturing project that fits their criteria."

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