Jacksonville leaders pull plug on tax break for JinkoSolar after federal raid

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — City leaders are pumping the breaks on a proposed tax break for the JinkoSolar plant after the Chinese-owned company’s Jacksonville facility was raided by Homeland Security Investigations Monday.

City Councilmember Matt Carlucci (R-Group 4 At-Large) sent an email to his fellow councilmembers Tuesday morning, calling for the withdrawal of a bill that would have provided $2.3 million in property tax rebates to JinkoSolar over the course of 10 years.


The call came one day after Homeland Security Investigations Monday raided the Chinese-based company’s Jacksonville facility.

“That’s a pretty big red flag,” said Carlucci.

Carlucci told Action News Jax he hopes the company will ultimately be cleared of any wrongdoing and perhaps the bill can move forward at a later date.

RELATED: Federal investigation underway at JinkoSolar plant on Jacksonville’s Westside

“But not until this investigation is over,” said Carlucci.

The bill, which was introduced by the mayor, was set to come up for a final vote before the council Tuesday night.

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“Due to the lack of information, we will ask that the pending legislation not move forward this evening,” said the mayor’s office in a statement.

The solar panel manufacturer was brought to Jacksonville a few years back and offered an incentive deal that included $3.4 million from the city and an additional $800,000 from the state.

Now, knowing the company has fallen under scrutiny from the federal government, Carlucci suggested better vetting of companies the city invests in could be warranted.

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“And they’re within 23 miles or so of the military base, or they’re close to Boeing, they’re close to Florida State Community College. I mean, you know so, we might need to further vet better. But I think the city does a good job of vetting, but there’s always room for improvement, right? And I think we should look at that,” said Carlucci.

Carlucci added he hopes the council will withdraw the bill rather than temporarily postpone it.

A postponement would mean the city would have to set a date to revisit the issue, and he worries there’s no way of knowing how long the investigation could take to conclude.

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