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Utah OKs incentives aimed at creating more than 1,100 jobs

Published May 10, 2012 6:57 pm

Inducements • $36 million in tax credits offered to four companies.
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Utah offered $36 million in incentives Thursday to four companies that are expected to create more than 1,133 jobs over the next 20 years.

Most of the incentive money, nearly $32.3 million, was promised to Orem-based software maker Xactware Solutions Inc., which employs 428 people in Utah and plans to hire 860 more over the next two decades.

The company plans to invest $130 million in a new 250,000-square-foot campus in either Salt Lake or Utah counties, said President and CEO Jim Loveland. Xactware's software is used by contractors, insurance companies and others to estimate building repair costs.

The incentive package, in the form of a tax credit payable over 20 years, is based on the company's plans to create nearly 860 jobs over the next two decades.

Payment of the incentive, approved Thursday by the Governor's Office of Economic Development board, is dependent on the company meeting certain hiring and payroll goals. For example, the company would have to pay an average salary of 25 percent more than the average wage in Salt Lake County, which would work out to $54,335, or if it elects to expand in Utah County, at least $43,310.

Utah also is offering FLSmidth, a provider of specialty mining equipment, more than $2.9 million to expand its Utah operations. The company, which employs about 620 people in Midvale, plans to hire as many as 125 people over the next 10 years, said Mark Fielder, vice president of global operations for FLSmidth.

The incentive will be payable over the 10-year period if the company meets its hiring goals and other criteria, GOED officials said.

The state also offered incentives of $518,000 to Peterbilt of Utah and $300,000 to Schiff Nutrition to expand their operations.

Peterbilt of Utah sells trucks and parts and also offers related services from its dealerships in Utah, Idaho, Colorado and Nevada. It plans to hire 50 full-time workers over the next five years as it doubles the size of its Utah facility.

Schiff Nutrition, a provider of supplements, plans to hire up to 100 more employees in Salt Lake City as it expands in coming years.

In all four instances, each company could have expanded in other areas around the country, said Christopher Conabee, managing director for corporate recruitment and business services for the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

He said the incentives help to ensure the expansions occur in Utah and are structured in most cases so that companies get the money over a fairly long period of time, and only if they hire the promised number of workers at a wage above the county average.

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