by David Chapman
In one of its first decisions of the year, the City Council Finance Committee approved a Qualified Target Industry tax rebate Tuesday for Embraer Aircraft Holding Inc.
The Embraer project would generate 50 jobs at an average salary of $49,500, plus benefits.
A deal between Embraer, a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, and the Jacksonville Aviation Authority for the company to build a 40,000-square-foot assembly factory at Jacksonville International Authority first surfaced in August.
It was contingent upon Embraer receiving the tax rebate and also being awarded a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense, which could happen later this year.
The total of the QTI is $150,000, with the state paying $120,000, or $2,400 per job, and the City paying $30,000, or $600 per new job.
Embraer is expected to generate an annual payroll of about $2.5 million and invest $1.8 million in assembly equipment, said Joe Whitaker, Jacksonville Economic Development Commission targeted industries coordinator.
“It’s a pretty good opportunity,” said Whitaker.
The committee approved the measure 5-0.
“Bring us some more,” said committee Chair Warren Jones.
Also at the meeting:
• The committee approved a measure to remove $665,358 of unused funds from the Fourth Judicial Circuit’s Adult Drug Program. The funds, part of a state grant, were to be used for expansion of the program to include more serious offenders, but had very little participation or referrals. The funds were returned to the state so they won’t hinder future grant opportunities.
• The committee approved an ordinance that will appropriate $46,730 from the council special contingency fund for the Supervisor of Elections to pay for absentee ballot return postage costs. The account was originally created during the budget session in case double-page ballots were required for the November election, but, with the committee’s approval, $170,077 will remain in the contingency fund.