N.Y. lures Big Data company Syncsort away from N.J.

Andrew Sheldon//January 8, 2016

N.Y. lures Big Data company Syncsort away from N.J.

Andrew Sheldon//January 8, 2016

New York is touting a business success regarding Syncsort’s relocation and participation in the 2-year-old economic development program Start-Up NY.For New Jersey, this is quite literally a loss.

Officials at Iona College, which hosts Start-Up NY, announced along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently that Syncsort, a Big Data software provider for industries with an international list of clients, will relocate its headquarters from Woodcliff Lake in Bergen County to Blue Hill Plaza, where Iona operates its Rockland Graduate Center.

“The whole process began with us looking for better office space for our employees, and we considered staying in our current location or moving to nearby spaces in New Jersey or New York,” Syncsort’s new CEO, Josh Rogers, told NJBIZ. “We did give New Jersey an opportunity to put together a package to keep us in-state, but it didn’t match what Start-Up NY offered in terms of incentives, tax breaks, office space and proximity to technology and startup ecosystems. That was too good an offer to refuse.”

According to a report in the Westchester County Business Journal, former Syncsort CEO Lonne Jaffe, now a senior adviser to the board, said the company expects to make the six-mile move across the state border in late spring after a build-out of the Pearl River headquarters. The company told state officials it will invest almost $2.9 million in its New York location.

Not only is New Jersey losing that investment, it’s also losing more than 100 jobs: Jaffe said Syncsort has about 145 employees at its Woodcliff Lake headquarters, and he expects all to stay with the company when it relocates within a roughly 15-minute commute from its current location.

As part of the relocation, the company will pay no state taxes for 10 years and employees residing in New York will pay no state personal income taxes for the first five years at Syncsort’s new location. For the second five years, employees will be exempt from state taxes on income up to $200,000 for individuals, $250,000 for a head of household and $300,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return.

With that sort of incentive, New Jersey might also be losing some residents, according to Jaffe, who said the state income tax exemption could be an incentive for some Syncsort employees to move from the Garden State to New York.

“That’s another ancillary potential benefit for New York,” he said.

According to Jaffe, Syncsort generates just under $100 million in annual revenue. Yet another loss for the state of New Jersey.