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In a controversial decision, the city of Charlotte will pay a defense manufacturer $875,000 — along with $732,000 in city and county tax rebates — to bring an aerospace headquarters to Charlotte.
Hartford, Conn.-based United Technologies announced plans in 2011 to buy Charlotte-based Goodrich Corp., a maker of aerospace parts and technology for civilian and military planes. United Technologies has said it will combine Goodrich with another business, Hamilton Sundstrand, for a new aerospace division office.
The company considered Northern Virginia, West Palm Beach, Fla., and Charlotte. The city said the company picked Charlotte in part because of money the city offered.
The City Council approved the incentives June 25 in a 6-5 vote. Voting against paying the company were Republican Warren Cooksey and Democrats John Autry, Michael Barnes, Patsy Kinsey and LaWana Mayfield. The vote was close because the incentive package is a break with typical Charlotte policy.
For business relocations or expansions, the city usually offers what's known as a Business Investment Grant. Once a company's capital investment has been made, the city gives the company up to 90 percent of the property taxes it would be scheduled to pay.
The city broke with that policy last year when, along with the county and state, it offered Chiquita Brands nearly $5 million, which the company said it needed for moving expenses. At the time, some council members warned it would set a bad precedent.
In an interview Monday, Cooksey said United Technologies has roughly $6 billion in reserves, and "this doesn't strike me as being necessary."
The state is kicking in $2.5 million as part of a One North Carolina grant.
City information on the deal says the company will invest no less than $4 million in new taxable property and will create 325 full-time jobs, with an average wage of $200,000.