tampabay.com

For jobs, county dangles tax cuts

Hillsborough wants a locally based company to add 180 "quality" jobs instead of relocating.

By BILL VARIAN
Published September 8, 2006


TAMPA - Hillsborough County commissioners agreed in concept Thursday to contribute tax rebates designed to persuade an unnamed company to expand its headquarters here and add 180 new "quality" jobs.

Economic development officials said the proposal is different from the prospective expansion of a biotech company touted by Commissioner Mark Sharpe.

The vote by commissioners Thursday designates the company as a qualified applicant under Florida's Qualified Tax Industries tax refund program. Under the plan, the company would qualify for up to $540,000 in tax rebates, with 80 percent coming from the state.

The county would provide up to $108,000, spread over four years or more, if the business expands in the unincorporated area, but only half of that if it expands within Tampa, Plant City or Temple Terrace city limits. The total tax refund translates to $3,000 for each job added, with the county chipping in $600 of that.

The company would agree to create 180 jobs that pay at least $39,591 per year, and plans to invest about $20-million. The company also has indicated it is looking at locations outside Hillsborough and has conditioned its expansion inside the county on tax refunds.