Tallahassee Offers Piper Aircraft $90M Package

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According to The Associated Press, the bidding war for Piper and its future PiperJet factory took an incremental leap on Thursday when the people who hold the purse strings in Tallahassee, Fla., offered about $90 million in incentives to draw the company there. Last week, Vero Beach, Piper's current home, put $50 million on the table. Columbia, S.C., and Albuquerque, N.M., are also in the running but haven't disclosed their offers yet. Tallahassee figures Piper, with its 1,500 employees making an average of $50,000 a year, would be worth about $500 million to the local economy. And at least part of its offer looks more like a loan than a gift. For instance, the company would make lease payments on facilities built at taxpayers' expense to reduce the debt incurred by the city. Piper would also pay property taxes, which would also be used to pay off the debt. Tallahassee's bid, along with the others, will be reviewed by a consultant before going back to Piper for a decision.