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[POLL] Bridgewater: Westport Loses Huge Taxpayer

Bridgewater Associates, which ranked as the largest and best-performing hedge fund manager in the world in both 2010 and 2011, plans to move to Stamford in five years, something that could have negative repercussions on Westport.

 

Bridgewater Associates LP helped fill local restaurants and  market in addition to being  as of 2011.

“Stamford's gain is Westport's loss. Bridgewater Associates will surely be missed,” Westport Board of Finance Chair Avi Kaner said of the company that employs 1,200 people in Westport. “It has become an integral part of the Westport fabric, both financially and socially.”

Kaner said he hopes the long-term move will allow new, high-quality tenants to be found to occupy the vacancies. The Board of Finance Chair said he will support the First Selectman's plans in attracting new companies to Westport.

“These companies can ultimately provide a similar vibrancy of employee activity in Westport,” he said.

Kaner believes ‘property valuation and corresponding tax revenues’ will hold steady for years to come prior to the move.

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Board of Finance Vice Chair Helen Garten agreed that the town could potentially see a decline in tax dollars.

“The firm pays personal property tax on its office equipment, so we could see a decline in those receipts once Bridgewater moves the bulk of its equipment away from Westport,” Garten said.

Garten noted that if the spaces Bridgewater vacates get rented to other commercial firms, those new tenants would pay personal property tax on their equipment, such as computers and other electronics. The impact may not necessarily be large, Garten said.

“With respect to real property taxes, it is the owner of the property, not the renter, who is responsible for the taxes and that will continue,” Garten said, adding that Bridgewater owns one of their offices and rents the other.

“Luckily, Westport has a diversified and vibrant commercial tax base and we are not dependent on a single business for the bulk of our revenues,” she said. 

meowkats4 August 16, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Come on this article is making very light on the subject here. You bet yeah this Corporation leaving town is going to have a big impact on Westport! These workers came into your town and used your gas stations, used your restaurants, used your stores to shop, Start asking people in other towns how they feel about their factories, and big businesses leaving or closing down how they felt or how they are doing now! Some of these towns see the empty buildings everyday. Come on People get out of the Rabbit Hole and see for yourselves!
Chris Rueli (Editor) August 16, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Meowkats, Bridgewater Associates LP helped fill local restaurants and support Westport's real estate market in addition to being the town's ninth highest taxpayer as of 2011. The company will surely be missed in town. How do you think all this will impact Westport?
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