The Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) on Wednesday approved a multimillion-dollar tax incentive that state officials say will bring 1,200 aircraft-manufacturing jobs to Iron County over the next 20 years.
By a unanimous vote, GOED's board of directors agreed to give Cedar City-based MSC Aerospace a $32 million tax credit the company can draw on when the jobs are created. In return, MSC agreed to start building SyberJet light business jets at a building it will construct next to a 250,000-square-foot factory it already operates near Cedar City's airport.
"This is a big project. It's a huge project for rural Utah," said GOED board member Jerry Oldroyd.
MSC Aerospace is the parent company of SyberJet Aircraft. SyberJet has offices in Cedar City and San Antonio, Texas.
SyberJet bills the S130 as the fastest and longest-range seven-seat business jet in the world.
GOED's approval came during a telephone conference call Wednesday evening. At 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cedar City Municipal Airport Terminal, Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell will join officials from GOED, the Economic Development Corporation of Utah and the company to formally announce the agreement.
The tax incentive appears to be a good deal for the state and Iron County. Utah expects to collect $127 million in new corporate taxes over the 20-year life of the agreement. Iron County, where the unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in April, will get nearly $1 billion in new wages during the period. The county's workforce of 15,144 will grow almost 8 percent.
Last month, a MSC executive told Iron County commissioners that the company would invest $400 million into the Cedar City plant.
The jobs will pay at least 40 percent more than the average Iron County wage of $2,363 a month. Many will pay double the average.
"For Cedar City and Iron County, it's huge. We are looking at high-tech, high-end aerospace jobs," said Daniel Stewart, an economic development assistant at Cedar City's Office of Economic Development.
MSC's main business has been building components for Boeing Co. and other aircraft companies. In 2011, MSC got into the private-jet manufacturing business when it bought the assets of the SJ30 light jet program from Emivest Aerospace for $3.5 million, according to AINonline.com, which tracks the aviation-parts industry. Emivest filed for bankruptcy in 2010 after the recession cut demand for business jets.