SLEMON PARK — The P.E.I. aerospace industry will continue to receive a major tax break from the provincial government.
Innovation Minister Allen Roach was at Slemon Park on Thursday to announce an extension to the Aerospace Tax Rebate Program.
“This will be for qualified companies, both existing and new to Prince Edward Island,” the minister said. “Innovation P.E.I. has successfully used the Aerospace Tax Rebate Program to attract and retain companies since 1993.
“This program is set to expire in a couple of weeks, in fact, on Dec. 31 of this year.
“After much discussion, by stakeholders and by colleagues, we decided to extend the Aerospace Tax Rebate Program for another 10 years.”
Roach said companies would be eligible to join the program for a period of 10 years once they meet the required criteria. Companies must maintain 20 employees for a payroll in excess of $700,000 a year.
He said the aerospace sector on Prince Edward Island has grown in sales from $5 million in 1992 to more than $360 million in 2011.
The direct payroll averages $39 million per year, generating about $3.7 million in provincial income taxes, and more than 3,500 jobs.
“A lot of these jobs are extremely well paying jobs,” the minister said.
“The aerospace industry is an extremely important sector on Prince Edward Island.”
“We want to continue to accelerate the success of our existing companies while continuing to make Prince Edward Island an attractive location to invest,” Roach said.
“When we talk about the dollar value, $360 million in export sales and the salaries that are here, but the spin-offs that circle around that are significant. So when we include all of that together, we’re looking at over $735 million per year that circulates as a result of the aerospace industry on Prince Edward Island and that is very significant.”
Roach said Slemon Park’s reputation, as an aerospace centre is global.
“I think the big eye-opener for me was when I went to Farmborough, England, last July,” he said.
“That certainly gives you a different perspective on the aerospace industry and how global it is and how competitive it is.
“I also had the opportunity to visit a few aerospace companies in the U.K. while I was there.
“When you get to speak to some of these people that have been in the industry, and some of them third generation families that have been in the aerospace industry, and get their perspective on it, I can tell you that Slemon Park is recognized world wide as being one of the premier places for the aerospace industry.”
“When you get that kind of recognition globally for Slemon Park in particular and the Summerside area, it’s something when you look at the competition out there,” he said.