Herkimer County IDA OKs tax breaks for Remington Arms buyer

Source: Times Telegram

February 25, 2021


RemArms, the company that is gearing up to operate the former Remington Arms plant in Ilion, has been approved for a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) agreement, according to Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency Executive Director John Piseck.

The IDA board approved the PILOT agreement for the $28 million project during a meeting earlier this week. That figure includes the $13 million purchase cost and $15 million for upgrades to the plant and guarantees 200 jobs, he said.

“It’s a standard 10-year PILOT,” Piseck said.

The company would initially pay 50% of the regular amount in taxes with a 5% increase each year over the 10 years of the agreement. A public hearing will have to be held on the agreement.

Roundhill Group Inc., the new owners, plan to start with the 870 shotgun line, said Piseck.

“They’re going to go back to basics. We have a talented workforce here and that’s their premiere line,” he said.

When asked about plans for starting up the operation and what upgrades would have to be made, Richmond Italia, a managing partner for Roundhill, said he preferred to wait until everything is finalized to offer specifics, adding, “there are still many outstanding points that need to be resolved before a full commitment can be announced.”

Italia reported early in January that Roundhill Group LLC had received its federal firearms license and the company was planning for a March 1 startup.

No contract yet

The United Mine Workers of America, the union that represents former Remington Arms employees, said in a statement released Wednesday that the UMWA and the new company have yet to reach a contract agreement.

UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts called for Italia “to meet face-to-face and complete negotiations for an agreement.”

He said he is willing to meet with him remotely or in person.

Roberts said he appreciated Italia’s comments in a media interview recognizing the UMWA as the collective bargaining agent for workers in Ilion, but was “mystified by his statement that we are ‘almost there’ with respect to an agreement. We are not almost there. Let’s get down to the real business of reaching an agreement that is fair and reasonable for everyone.”

The union leader called the workers at the Ilion plant “the most professional and productive workers in the arms manufacturing industry anywhere in America” and added, “they need the security that comes from having a union contract as they go back to work.”

Roundhill purchased the Ilion operation minus the Marlin line along with the handgun barrel factory and auxiliary property in Lenoir City, Tennessee, for $13 million when Remington Outdoor Company’s assets were broken up and sold in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Alabama.

Remington Outdoor Company filed for bankruptcy in July 2020 and announced in October that it was terminating the employment of 585 workers at its Ilion plant effective Oct. 26, and cutting off all their health care and other contractual benefits on Oct. 31.

The company also said it would not pay severance and accrued vacation benefits, as called for under its collective bargaining agreement with the UMWA. The union is fighting that decision and local union workers and supporters have conducted multiple rallies calling for the old company to live up to its agreement. Roberts was in Ilion for a rally in November to assure members of the union’s support.

Written by: Donna Thompson