Commissioners approve incentive package for GKN

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay County Commissioners have approved an incentive agreement with GKN Aerospace to refund a portion of the company's property tax dollars as a result of GKN choosing to come to Bay County and bringing jobs to the area.

The incentive will be given to the company after it meets certain requirements, such as initiating construction, which has already begun ,and bringing 170 jobs to Bay County by 2020.

"That money would come in the form of taxes, property taxes, and it would go from the general fund into the building fund to offset the cost of the building permit, so it's a way of utilizing their property taxes to turn around and cover those costs but then to also rebate back to the company a portion of taxes they're paying in as incentive for creating the jobs," said Bay County Manager Bob Majka.

Over a four-year period, the company will be paying $1.8 million in property taxes. Roughly $750,000 would be refunded. That's about a 40 percent refund over that time frame.

"There's been a lot of concern in the past about the blank check for these companies that we're trying to recruit to Bay County, but this is totally not that way. This is performance-based jobs, they have to prove the jobs they've quantified by the county, and we'll rebate the money after that," said Philip "Griff" Griffitts, Bay County Commissioner, District Five.