June 9, 2014

American seeking tax incentives worth up to $6.5 million for operations center

The 15-year deal would abate up to 85 percent of the airline’s real and business personal property taxes.

American Airlines is asking the Fort Worth City Council to approve tax incentives worth up to $6.5 million over 15 years for a $88 million operations center it plans to build near its headquarters south of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

According to information provided to council members, the deal would abate up to 85 percent of the real and personal property taxes at the new Integrated Operations Center at 4700 American Blvd., next to American’s Southern Reservations Office west of Texas 360.

The council is scheduled to be briefed on the incentive package at a pre-council meeting today and then vote at its evening meeting.

Under the deal, American agrees to invest $55 million on construction and $33 million in business personal property improvements by Dec. 31, 2015. The incentive would be a one-year tax abatement followed by 14 years of Chapter 380 grants.

The airline would be required to employ at least 1,300 full-time employees by Dec. 31, 2015, with 15 percent, or 195 jobs, filled by Fort Worth residents, and at least 5 percent, or 65 jobs, by central city residents.

American would also spend at least $13.7 million, or 25 percent of construction costs, with Fort Worth companies, and the same amount with Fort Worth minority- and women-owned businesses. American would also agree to spend at least 30 percent, or $150,000 annually, of its supply and service costs with Fort Worth contractors, and 25 percent, or at least $125,000 annually, with minority- and women-owned businesses.

The city would also waive some development fees.

Last week, American said it wanted to build an operations center near its headquarters as it consolidates its US Airways’ operations center in Fort Worth. The carrier said it wants to complete the building by the third quarter of 2015.

American has already told 600 employees at US Airways’ operations center near Pittsburgh that it will consolidate the operation in Fort Worth and offered positions to those willing to move.

In December, American and US Airways completed a merger, which came about as part of American’s two-year bankruptcy case.

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