The Jacksonville City Council approved a $3.6 million property tax and grant incentives package Dec. 13 for an unidentified global food manufacturer’s estimated $65 million expansion of its existing Jacksonville operation.
Council voted 16-1 to pass Resolution 2022-0862 that awards code-named Project Cashew a $3.1 million Recapture Enhanced Value Grant, which is a property tax refund, and a $500,000 completion grant from the Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Fund.
Council member Rory Diamond was the lone no vote on the bill, and it passed without debate.
Council members Aaron Bowman and Danny Becton were absent for the vote.
An Oct. 26 project summary from the city Office of Economic Development says Project Cashew plans the expansion of a Northwest Jacksonville facility that would manufacture products for customers throughout the Southeastern U.S.
The incentives are tied to the company’s commitment to retain 110 existing jobs and add 40 positions at an annual average wage of $50,000, according to the summary.
The summary says Cashew’s anticipated capital investment is a $55 million build-out of its existing facility and installation of new equipment plus $10 million in utility upgrades.
The REV grant will refund Cashew 75% of the increased property tax payments on the facility for 10 years, capped at $3.1 million. The city will keep the remaining 25% of its portion of the increased tax revenue.
Council waived the city’s public investment policy because the proposal to create 40 jobs falls short of the 50 required to qualify for the grant from the Northwest Economic Development Large Scale Program.
The jobs will have to be in place by June 30, 2025, to qualify for the incentives.
According to the summary, the incentives are material to Cashew’s decision to expand in Jacksonville instead of one of its other U.S. locations.
City economic development officials are projecting a $1.16 return for every $1 of public investment in the Cashew project.