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Jabil’s new Innovation Center puts it in line for a $500,000 tax break

Margie Manning

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The March 2019 ribbon-cutting for Jabil's innovation Center

Jabil, the largest company headquartered in St. Petersburg, is in line for a $500,000 tax exemption over five years after completing work on its Innovation Center.

The project created a dozen new jobs paying an average wage of $95,000 each, according to information provided to the St. Petersburg City Council.

On Thursday, the council unanimously agreed to set a public hearing and a final vote on the tax exemption for Aug. 20.

Jabil (NYSE: JBL) cut the ribbon last year on its Innovation Center. It’s a nearly 40,000-square-foot building on the company’s St. Petersburg campus, with 121 current employees who work on research and development for high-tech devices. The center was the first phase of a $67.3 million headquarters expansion for the electronics manufacturing services company.

The Innovation Center project met all the criteria under the city’s economic development ad valorem tax exemption program, according to the city’s administration, which has recommended approval of the tax exemption. Those criteria include:

• New jobs created as of Dec. 21, 2019: 12

• Average wage of new jobs: $95,000

• Capital investment: $11,373,341 (this project only)

• Type of business: Innovation Laboratory

• Environmental impact of business: Jabil has invested in environmentally conscious materials in renovating the facility.

• Local sourcing: Locally sourced materials for construction, local service providers for operations such as janitorial services, office supplies and landscaping services

The Pinellas County Property Appraiser estimated the project had a taxable value of $9.67 million in real property improvements and $300,000 for tangible personal property, which would generate $67,334 in St. Petersburg ad valorem taxes for 2020. The tax exemption program has a maximum annual exemption of $100,000 over five years.

If City Council members approve the tax exemption, Jabil will have to provide an annual report by Feb. 1 each year. The report must include the number of new jobs and salaries to determine continued eligibility for the tax exemption.

Jabil is one of the largest employers in St. Petersburg, with about 2,000 total workers in the city. The company has a global workforce of 200,000 and posted $25.3 billion in total revenue in 2019.

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