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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jun. 11, 201909:21 PM EST

Council approves city's share of incentives package for Project Liberty

The unidentified IT company pledges to add 198 positions, boosting its Jacksonville jobs to 656 by year-end 2021.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

The City Council approved Jacksonville's portion of a $990,000 incentives package for the confidential Project Liberty on Tuesday.

The 14-0 vote clears the way for the unidentified international IT company to increase its existing Jacksonville workforce by 198 jobs, reaching 656 employees by Dec. 31, 2021.

Resolution 2019-337 will allow the city to enter Project Liberty into the state of Florida's Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program. The city will refund $198,000, or 20%, of the city-state QTI award over five years. The state is responsible for $792,000.

Council members Anna Lopez Brosche, Aaron Bowman, Garrett Dennis, Joyce Morgan and Bill Gulliford were absent for the vote.

According to the city's Office of Economic Development, the average salary for the 198 new positions will be $69,000, generating about $13.6 million in wages.

City officials say the company plans to invest $1.7 million in property improvements, IT and office equipment purchases.

The QTI refund is equal to $5,000 per job. The refunds to the IT company will begin in 2020 after the new hires and their salaries are confirmed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The bill can keep the IT company's name confidential for up to one year in line with Florida law that shields that identity while incentives are approved.

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