SUFFERN - Novartis has announced it will close its Suffern facility by 2017, causing a loss of jobs and a major hit to Suffern's tax rolls. 

The pharmaceutical company employs over 500 people. It contributes over $1 million in property taxes a year and $300,000 for water and sewage services. 

Company officials blame the loss of a drug patent for the loss in profits. Suffern mayor said Wednesday night during a special meeting that it doesn't make sense for the company to stay. 

One Novartis employee says that the company is treating their employees wonderfully, providing severance packages to those workers near retirement age. 

The mayor said that workers will be laid-off in small groups and that the company will announce the timeline of those lay-offs by mid-March.