Correction: Okaloosa County Commissioners voted 4-0 to approve a public hearing on this tax break.
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Okaloosa County Commissioners voted 5-0 today to approve a block of items that included a public hearing to grant a property tax break worth about $300,000 over ten years to a local aviation company – with some caveats.
The board approved the public hearing for a tax exemption for The Gulf Air Group – which is based at the Bob Sikes Airport in Crestview, Florida – in exchange for the local company’s word it would create 55 new jobs in the area and keep the 102 people it has employed on the payroll for the length of the 10-year deal.
According to the Okaloosa County Meeting Agenda Packet, the company plans to hire new personnel at an average wage of $89,000 annually.
The company plans to also build more than $16 million in infrastructure, including a 57,000 square foot hangar, a 3,000 square foot warehouse for inbound and outbound cargo, a 10,500 square foot turboprop hangar, and a 3,750 square foot metal shop next to the hangar.
The company would have a year from executing its lease at Bob Sikes Airport to begin construction on the improvements and a total of 30 months to complete all buildings.
The County can pass the tax break for the company, thanks to a 2014 referendum that allowed the county commissioners to exempt businesses from taxation under a certain set of rules.
The Gulf Air Group is a contractor for multi-mission large aircraft solutions for various needs worldwide.
According to their website, they marry several areas of aviation expertise to help their clients achieve their goals. They hold a CFR Part 125 operating certificate and a Part 145 repair station license from the Federal Aviation Administration.
They’ve been in business for over 25 years and are based in Okaloosa County.
The company lists its president as Tim Rhyne.