Friday, February 23, 2018
News Roundup

Companies' tax incentive requests project 200 jobs in Hernando

BROOKSVILLE — Two biomedical companies looking at Hernando County could bring more than 200 new jobs with higher-than-average wages.

On Tuesday, the Hernando County Commission will decide whether the two businesses meet the criteria to receive incentives through the state's Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund and High Impact Bonus. Those incentives are based on a company creating high-wage jobs in industries listed as "value added" in state law.

Because the two companies have requested confidentiality, the county is identifying them only by code names. The state must approve the companies for the incentives, and then, if they close deals in the county, their identities would be revealed.

The larger of the two projects, "Project Mountain," involves a leading research, development and manufacturing firm that produces medical devices and products. The company has decided to expand its business to include a manufacturing facility that officials want to build in Hernando County, according to material prepared for Tuesday's commission meeting.

The company's plan is to purchase 28 acres and construct a 100,000-square-foot facility costing more than $5.8 million, including equipment and furnishings. A minimum of 150 jobs with an average annual wage of $40,600 are planned. The company also provides an employee benefits package valued at more than $9,000.

The county's local match for the state incentives would be $150,000 over four years and would be based on annual documentation of job creation, job retention and wages.

The second company is referred to as "Project Asterisk," and it is a life sciences/biotechnology research and development manufacturer. The company wants to purchase an existing facility and land in Hernando County, according to materials.

The company intends to renovate the existing structure, spending more than $30 million, and create at least 55 jobs over three years. The average wage is expected to be $37,748, with a benefits package totaling more than $11,000.

The county's match for Project Asterisk would be $55,000.

The same company got County Commission approval for incentives last year, but that approval has expired, said Valerie Pianta, the county's economic development supervisor.

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