Luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. has repaid the city $4,200 after it failed to hit projected job targets tied to a state economic incentive approved in 2010.
According to Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet records, Tiffany was awarded a $300,000 economic development bond in 2010. As part of that bond, the jewelry maker was supposed to create 125 jobs. The average hourly wage was supposed to be $18 an hour.
The company failed to reach the target by seven jobs but has exceeded its wage target, meaning it is paying more than the average of $18 an hour, Kevin Atkins, the city's chief development officer, told the Urban County Council on Tuesday.
"The way that the economic development incentive was written, if the company does not meet its target, they have to repay the money back to the local municipality," Atkins said.
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The jewelry maker opened its plant on Innovation Drive in the Blue Grass Business Park in September 2011. In April 2013, it announced that it would expand operations, adding 75 jobs.
At the time of the April 2013 announcement, Tiffany was granted as much as $1.5 million in incentives through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits by meeting job and investment targets.
Joe Hall, a spokesman for the state Economic Development Cabinet, said a company doesn't receive those tax credits until it meets job targets and other investment targets.
This isn't the first time a company has received economic incentives, failed to meet targets and had to repay the city or the state, Atkins said.
"The state's economic development cabinet does a very good job monitoring these incentives," Atkins said.
The city must keep the $4,200 in a separate pool of money, Atkins said. The money can be used for another economic development project if approved by the state economic development cabinet.