City set to cancel tax abatement for medical device firm

The city of Indianapolis is expected Wednesday to rescind a tax abatement given in 2007 to Polymer Technology Systems Inc., a small locally based maker of handheld blood monitors.

PTS, founded in 1992 by a former Roche Diagnostics Corp. employee, said it would make a $3 million investment at its operation on Zionsville Road and create 110 jobs by 2010 but fell short of its goal.

The company has made $2.1 million in investments and currently has only about 70 employees, less than the 80 it had when it received the abatement four years ago, according to the city.

Though the tax abatement spanned a 10-year period, terms of the agreement called for PTS to meet expectations by 2010. It’s not unusual for a project’s commitment date to occur before the end of the abatement in order to limit the city’s risk if a project doesn’t perform as expected, said Ryan Hunt, senior project manager for the Department of Metropolitan Development.
   
PTS has saved $17,207 in property taxes since the city approved the abatement in 2007 but had been expecting to save about $185,000 over the entire abatement period.
 
PTS may have been capable of meeting the commitments before the end of the abatement, Hunt said, but the company chose to agree to the termination rather than renegotiate the deal with the city.

The Metropolitan Development Commission is set to cancel the abatement at its meeting Wednesday afternoon.

PTS makes CardioChek, a handheld meter that quickly and accurately measures levels of cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides and other key health indicators from a drop of blood.

The company tapped global markets in the mid-2000s to spur fast growth but struggled to sustain the rapid pace during the recession and amid legal issues over a licensing agreement with Roche.
 

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