Piper Aircraft’s 2008 agreement with the state of Florida has been amended. The original incentive package included government tax incentives, payments and other benefits provided Piper maintained a minimum level of employment at its Vero Beach facility. That agreement was drawn up just before the economic collapse of November 2008, and Piper has struggled to meet its terms in light of severe reductions in the market for light aircraft.
Under the adjusted package, Piper will be allowed to keep $3.3 million of $6.6 million in incentive payments and will be allowed to keep the rest if it maintains a payroll roster of at least 650 full-time equivalent positions (averaging $46,500 per year) for the next four years.
Piper currently employs 650 in Vero Beach. To date, Florida has taken back $13.3 million that had been held in escrow for payment to Piper if the company could meet terms of the 2008 economic incentive agreement. According to Piper, it has invested more than $100 million and generates more than $40 million in payroll annually and is the single largest exporter in Indian River County.