When Pompano Beach’s authorized manufacturer of Russian AK-47 assault rifles was in jeopardy of losing $162,000 in tax incentives in 2016, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration tried to ride to the rescue.
Broward County records show that Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) sought the county’s cooperation to extend the term of the secret incentives deal that brought Kalashnikov USA to Broward in 2015. But the proposed extension, intended to help the company meet the deal’s job-creation requirements and allow it to collect the tax refunds, soon failed.
The Scott administration’s request, like its 2015 offer of tax incentives to the company, was made in the face of U.S. economic sanctions imposed on Russian-made military assault weapons, as well as indications that Kalashnikov USA was in violation of those sanctions.
Gov. Scott’s office has denied that Kalashnikov USA received any special treatment or that Florida skirted the U.S. sanctions to offer it tax incentives. Still, Scott’s economic development department has not yet made public requested records documenting the state’s effort to address the company’s compliance with the federal sanctions.