Manufacturing business may locate in Belle Glade

At their meeting next week, the Palm Beach County Commission will consider giving a tax break to a manufacturing business if it moves to Belle Glade.

The Sept. 18 agenda states:

“Project Paper is contemplating relocating its Florida-based manufacturing business to the City of Belle Glade or to one of the company’s other manufacturing sites throughout the United States, including within the State of Florida. The project will invest $33.7 million to purchase land and construct and equip a 400,000 square foot facility. The project will create 40 new jobs over a two year period and retain 150 jobs at an annualized average wage of $34,999 and an annualized median wage of $34,999. The estimated five year local economic impact is $108.5 Million.

“Although Project Paper’s wages are below the State ($46,346) and County ($51,098) average wages, the company’s average wage of $34,999 is significantly higher than the City of Belle Glade’s average wage of $13,321. Additionally, the City of Belle Glade has a high unemployment rate of 15.7 percent and poverty rate of 37.4 percent. Staff is recommending $478,873 in the form of an Ad Valorem Tax Exemption to Project Paper based on their consideration to relocate to the Glades community in light of the existing economic conditions including the poverty and unemployment rate, and supports deviation from the requirement that the average wage for a company receiving an incentive is greater than the County’s average wage.

“The incentive would be provided over a period of ten years provided the project meets the requirements under Florida Statute 196.012 for an Ad Valorem Tax Exemption. The company will be required to provide a form of security for the incentive in the form of a Letter of Credit or Cash Bond and to enter into a formal agreement memorializing their commitments which will be brought back to the Board of County Commissioners for approval, and at which time the name of the Company will be disclosed. In addition, under the State’s Rural Area of Economic Opportunity Program, the Governor of Florida is given the ability to waive program criteria for any economic development incentive including the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program, with consent from the Florida county the company is relocating from.

“The $478,873 Ad Valorem Tax Exemption, if provided, would be above the required match for this program. Under Florida Statute, the State of Florida is able to provide up to $136,000 for this project.”

The meeting in the Commission Chambers starts at 9 a.m.

The meeting will be live streamed at http://discover.pbcgov.org.

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