Gurnee OKs $5.8 million in tax breaks for company
Gurnee village board members have approved a multimillion-dollar tax incentive package for a technology company to relocate in a business park near the Tri-State Tollway.
Village board trustees Monday night voted 6-0 in favor of what will be a combined $5.8 million in performance-based state and local tax breaks for AKHAN Semiconductor Inc. Village board members and about 25 spectators stood and applauded after the vote.
"I wish I had some champagne so we could toast to a long future together," Mayor Kristina Kovarik said.
Company founder Adam Khan said at the meeting that revised plans call for AKHAN to use the tax incentives to bring 80 employees from Hoffman Estates and California to the Gurnee business park for a company headquarters and factory. AKHAN expects explosive growth for its cutting-edge diamond film semiconductors.
AKHAN has had a partnership with Argonne National Laboratory to develop technology using diamond film as semiconductors.
In November, Argonne announced it granted an exclusive licensing agreement for the technology to AKHAN, which is expected to gain a competitive advantage by becoming the first U.S. company to fully develop the process for industries such as aviation, defense and power.
Gurnee's end of the incentive package requires the village to reimburse a maximum of $1.5 million in sales tax to AKHAN over five years, unless the dollar total is reached earlier. AKHAN will receive the money only if it generates sales tax, according to the agreement.
"If we fail, there is no risk to Gurnee," Khan said.
The incentives to bring AKHAN to Gurnee include a maximum of $530,000 in sales tax reimbursement from Lake County. Documents show the entire package of local incentives, including tax abatements from the Warren and Woodland school districts, will be worth roughly $2.3 million and come on top of $3.5 million available to AKHAN through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
AKHAN Semiconductor, a subsidiary of AKHAN Technologies Inc., was founded by Khan in 2007. He says use of diamond semiconductors, rather than silicon, means devices can be made thinner and operate at higher temperatures, benefiting smartphones and "wearable" technology such as Google Glass.