Monday, August 17, 2009

Oakland Helping Berkeley Keep Bayer

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 10:13 AM

The City of Oakland is trying to help Berkeley keep its largest private employer - Bayer - and the tax proceeds and jobs the pharmaceutical giant produces for the East Bay, according to the Berkeley Daily Planet and the Oakland Tribune. Under a plan developed with Berkeley and the City of Emeryville, Oakland would expand its West Oakland enterprise zone to include a section of Berkeley that includes Bayer's large facility, which employs 1,700 people. If approved by state officials, the proposal could save Bayer up to $19 million in tax breaks and incentives over the next decade. Both Mayor Ron Dellums and the Oakland City Council have endorsed the plan, according to the Planet.

Bayer is considering leaving Berkeley because it needs to revamp its facility and retrain workers to produce a new hemophilia drug, the Trib reports. As a result, the German company is looking at relocating to another spot that has lower costs.

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