Cabela's to open distribution center in Utah
State tax incentives were approved Thursday to help Cabela's build a distribution center in Tooele County and Varian Medical Systems to expand its X-ray technology manufacturing center in Salt Lake City.
The Governor's Office of Economic Development board extended the financial assistance in hopes of aiding the creation of 1,250 jobs that will provide more than $430 million in new wages in the next 15 years.
In addition, the two projects are expected to generate $38.4 million in new state taxes over that span.
Cabela's, whose Lehi store is one of 50 the company operates across North America, has decided to build a "highly sophisticated" distribution center in Tooele to process freight and deliver products to consumers, company spokesman Wes Remmer said in a news release.
About 250 jobs will be created to run the center. To qualify for a post-performance tax credit worth almost $700,000 over the next 10 years, 85 of the new positions must pay at least 100 percent of Tooele County's average annual wage, including benefits.
"We are happy to see such a major player in the outdoor industry continue to grow its presence in Utah," Gov. Gary Herbert said in the release. "The creation of Cabela's Utah distribution center will strengthen our valued outdoor industry and create family-sustaining jobs in rural areas."
Randy Sant, who works on economic-development issues for Tooele County, said Cabela's has not decided where to build the facility and is still looking at several locations.
He expects a site to be picked soon enough for the plant to meet a projected opening date in late 2015. In the meantime, Sant said, Cabela's will work out of space it has leased.
The Varian deal is larger, looking to foster the addition of 1,000 jobs over the next 15 years. These jobs are supposed to pay 125 percent of Salt Lake County's average annual wage, said GOED spokesman Michael Sullivan, and amount to $400 million over the life of the agreement.
GOED's board approved a tax credit of $7.1 million over the 15-year period, about 20 percent of the $35 million in new tax revenues Varian is projected to generate over that span.
The company expects to spend about $40 million to add 120,000 square feet of manufacturing space to its existing operation, which covers 341,000 square feet.
The addition will include research laboratories, cleanrooms, administrative offices and space to make flat panel image detectors, lines of X-ray tubs and new business the company hopes to pursue, CEO Dow Wilson said in the release.
Noting that Varian has operated in Utah since the 1940s, he said "70 percent of the orders for our X-ray products come from customers outside the U.S., making us one of the Utah's largest exporters."
Wilson added that Utah is "an excellent place to operate our business. Here we're able to find the engineering and technical talent we need to fulfill our mission of making world-class medical products that are used to save lives around the world."
In both cases, Sullivan said, the companies will receive a portion of their tax credit each year they meet performance criteria specified in the agreements.
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The Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development is giving GF Films LLC a tax incentive to produce a mini-series on "The West," narrated by film star, Robert Redford, in the state. The post-performance tax credit will be in between $730,000 and $913,000.