...Meanwhile, Albuquerque Antes Up...

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Vern Raburn apparently knew what he was doing when he chose Albuquerque, N.M., as the site for his then-new company, Eclipse Aviation, giving rise to our second example. Still in the process of getting its first aircraft through the FAA's certification process, Eclipse recently was the beneficiary of substantial largesse from the city it calls home. According to the Albuquerque Journal, city fathers earlier this month "approved a $45 million industrial revenue bond package to help Eclipse Aviation deliver" its light-light Eclipse 500 jet. According to the Journal, the city also approved a proposal to reduce the company's property taxes by some $777,000 over a ten-year period. The Journal said that Eclipse would use the bond proceeds "to purchase equipment for various manufacturing, research and office support functions." According to the city, its net tax receipts would rise some $2.1 million because of the additional jobs Eclipse would bring in. The Journal quoted Perry Denker, Eclipse's vice president for investor relations, as saying that approving the bond measure "demonstrates another level of the great partnership that we feel with the city." It is not clear to what extent, if any, the city's actions will help the company expedite certification and delivery of its first Eclipse 500 jet. Presently, Eclipse targets March 31, 2006, as the date by which it will receive the FAA's certification. Eclipse has several prototypes in various stages of production but isn't scheduled to roll out one of them from manufacturing until December 2004.