Illumina, City Reach Proposed Deal

Under the 10-year agreement, Illumina will keep 300 middle-class manufacturing jobs in San Diego and receive a tax break up to $1.5 million

One of the nation's leading biotechnology companies will stay in San Diego and keep jobs in the region under a deal announced Tuesday.

Recently named “World’s Smartest Company” by the MIT Technology Review, Illumina develops and makes instruments used to sequence human genomes.

Fifteen years ago, the company had seven people on the payroll. Now, 90 percent of the world’s sequencing is being done on Ilumina technologies.

“We’re thriving and science in San Diego is thriving,” CEO Jay Flatley said Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Flatley joined San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to announce the development of a new 150,000 square foot facility to house manufacturing and logistics by 2016.

The company was considering other cities including Poway and Memphis until the City of San Diego proposed a deal.

The City will provide a tax rebate in exchange for Illumina retaining approximately 300 middle-class manufacturing jobs in the city.

The tax rebate cap would be $1.5 million and once that or 10 years is reached, San Diego will once again get 100 percent of Illumina’s tax revenue.

In return, the City will keep 30 percent of the biotech’s sales tax revenues in addition to the current level of sales and use tax generated by Illumina – approximately $1.3 million annually in the most recent year, officials said.

After the $1.5 million tax rebate cap has been reached or the term of the 10-year agreement ends, the City will return to receiving 100 percent of Illumina’s tax revenue.

A City Council vote to ratify the agreement is scheduled for the week of July 21.

“This means hundreds of high-wage middle-class jobs are staying in our city,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Flatley confirmed that there was considerable growth on the horizon.

With more than 1,500 employees, the biotechnology company has 120 open positions and expects to add 500 employees in San Diego this year alone.

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