4A Sales Tax Board Discusses Carter Aviation Technology Loan Payment Proposal

- Wichita Falls city and economic development officials gave incentives to have an aviation company come to the city. However, five years later that company hasn't quite taken off as officials anticipated.

Back in 2009 the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation, or 4A Sales Tax Board, and the city committed to loaning nearly $4-million to Carter Aviation. The company develops fixed wing rotary proto-type aircraft but after nearly five years, loans to the company have not been paid back. So Wednesday afternoon, the 4A board discussed the matter behind closed doors.

Following that meeting, Chamber of Commerce vice president, Kevin Pearson, told us the board continued discussing terms of a proposal by Carter Aviation for a 24 month extension on it loans. The company was given several loans, with a $117,000 payment that was due four months ago. Officials say that amount will increase as six other loans totaling $3.3 million become due.

So, Carter officials proposed combining the six outstanding loans into one loan with a 24-month extension on the note. Carter Aviation's owner was not at Wednesday's meeting but explains how the note will be paid.

"The easiest thing and the only thing we can say for sure is that 20% of whatever moneys we receive from a license will go to pay off these notes.  We've got a technology, as I keep saying, is gonna obsolete helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.  And so, eventually we're gonna make it," Jay Carter, Jr. says.

Carter says his company has gone from 45 employees to 13 to most recently, just five. But he says he has every intention of paying back the loans and getting his company off the ground.

Four-A board members only continued discussing Carter Aviation's loan extension proposal and took no action Wednesday. No word on when their next meeting will take place.

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