The councilor plans to withdraw the tax break vote for China-based Jinko Solar amid a federal investigation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Councilor Matt Carlucci is asking the Jacksonville City Council to postpone Tuesday night’s vote on a $2.3 million grant to Jinko Solar.

His call comes after federal agents and the Department of Homeland Security issued a search warrant Monday at the China-based company’s solar cell factory in the Cecil Commerce Center. Homeland Security did not disclose the reason for the warrant, but said it was part of an ongoing federal investigation.

“We cannot in good conscience and in the face of an active federal investigation move forward. Until the investigation is complete, I believe that we – as the elected leaders and gatekeepers of this city – should press pause on all further legislative, regulatory and/or funding action. I hope a positive outcome will prevail and our city can continue to grow and diversify,” Carlucci wrote in an email to city council members.

Carlucci said one of the concerns he had was who was involved in the investigation.

“The biggest thing that has concerned me is Homeland Security,” he said. “It’s 23 miles from our naval base, close to our schools and close to Boeing. I don’t want to blame anyone and I hope the best for everyone.”

According to the Jacksonville Daily Record, the company plans to invest more than $52 million in its Cecil Commerce Center facility and create an additional 250 jobs through 2026 if the city agrees to a $2.3 million grant over 10 years . The tax incentive would equal 50% of the increase in ad valorem taxes paid by the company over the first 10 years.

China-based Jinko Solar opened a 283,652-square-foot residential and commercial solar panel manufacturing facility in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2018. It is the company’s only manufacturing facility in the United States.

Carlucci said he didn’t want to postpone the vote, he wanted to withdraw it, but it wasn’t clear as of Tuesday afternoon where other council members stand.

“If you withdraw it, that red flag will be taken off the agenda and we can reintroduce the law when the investigation is complete,” Carlucci said.

Carlucci said the investigation could also be a learning opportunity.

“There might be a message here for us as councilors and administrations to double down a little when we screen corporations, whoever they are, for tax incentives,” he said.

When Jinko Solar first came to Jacksonville, the city approved a $3.2 million grant because the company said it would invest $40 million and create 200 jobs.

The Jacksonville City Council will meet at 5 p.m. to discuss the agenda

There are several other City Council members who agree with Carlucci’s proposal to withdraw the legislation until more is known, including Council Member Nick Howland and City Council President Terrance Freeman. News4JAX has reached out to Jinko Solar officials about the federal investigation, but has yet to receive a response.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

#councilor #plans #withdraw #tax #break #vote #Chinabased #Jinko #Solar #federal #investigation
More From Shayari.Page

Leave a Comment