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$382,000 Tax Break Brings Auto-Tech Incubator to Portland

Jaguar Land Rover plans to have 120 small companies participate in its Portland incubator over 10 years, beginning late this year.

by Mike Rogoway, The Oregonian / June 26, 2015

(TNS) -- The Portland Development Commission signed off Wednesday on $382,000 in tax breaks for Jaguar Land Rover's new automotive technology incubator. The project will also receive $50,000 from an industry group supported by the state.

Wednesday's property tax breaks apply to that $4 million expansion at a 30,000-square-foot site, about five blocks away from JLR's main lab, at 1420 N.W. 18th Ave. The PDC, Portland's economic development agency, says the tax breaks will save JLR $382,000 over five years.

The savings come from property tax exemptions through the city's enterprise zone and e-commerce programs, and apply to improvements JLR plans to make to its new building. Property taxes continue to apply to the land and existing building.

JLR, like other automakers, wants to incorporate new computer technologies into its vehicles. Prototype systems superimpose route information onto the windshield or help drivers manage their music without taking their eyes off the road.

Wednesday, at an automotive conference in Germany, Intel and JLR showed off a new technology that uses 3-D cameras to recognize a vehicle's owner and unlock the door, or pick music based on which driver is behind the wheel.

JLR plans to have 120 small companies participate in its Portland incubator over 10 years, beginning late this year. Of the dozen startups participating each year, the PDC said JLR will pick two from members of "underrepresented" populations – part of the agency's ongoing effort to increase diversity within the city's rapidly growing tech community.

In addition to the property tax breaks, a state-funded program called Drive Oregon will grant $50,000 for JLR's incubator. The organization, funded in part by state lottery dollars, promotes electric vehicle technology.

©2015 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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