GlaxoSmithKline, which is embroiled in a dispute with the Spring-Ford Area School District over the valuation of its Upper Providence campus, said today that it remains committed to the area and blamed the school district for "delays" that have .
The school district may have to refund the company about $5.5 million in back taxes dating to 2008 if the company's property is reassessed from its current book value of $200 million to the company's estimate of $45 million. The school district believes the property is now worth about $95 million, but reported last week that it had proposed a valuation of about $75 million to the company.
District solicitor Marc Davis said the company had "rejected that [offer] out of hand."
"We believe that just as an individual is entitled to an assessment of the fair market value of their property, so is GlaxoSmithKline," said Sarah Alspach, director of U.S. corporate media relations for the company.
Alspach said the district has been aware of the tax assessment issue since October 2007 but had not delivered its report on the assessment until December 2010.
"Despite numerous attempts to settle [the matter], the district has persisted in delays," Alspach said.
Because of those delays, Alspach said, the amount of back taxes to which the company will be entitled in a reassessment has continued to grow.
"[GlaxoSmithKline] is always willing to discuss the issue with the school district," Alspach said.
District officials and school board members were preparing for this evening's school board meeting and were not immediately available for comment on the company's remarks.
Alspach said GlaxoSmithKline has about 4,000 employees in the region, "many of whom live in Montgomery County."
School board president Joseph Ciresi to Philadelphia youth programs, drawing a comparison between the company's gift and the money the district would have to refund to the company.
"We're excited about what we're able to do in Philadelphia, but want the community to be aware that our commitment extends to the whole region," Alspach said.