City Officials ‘Proud’ of Voters
Unofficial election results show that a city economic referendum has passed.
Temple Terrace Mayor Joe Affronti and City Manager Kim Leinbach agreed that they were pleased voters favored a city referendum to give property tax exemptions to new and expanding businesses.
According to unofficial election results, nearly 70 percent of voters who cast their ballots voted “yes” on the measure. All 10 precincts were reporting in as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“I think (the results are) indicative of our residents,” said Leinbach. “I think they’re progressively minded.”
Affronti said he was proud of voters.
“We’re tickled to death,” he said. “I just think it’s great.”
The city urged voters to favor the referendum prior to the election.
The measure will go before the City Council for final approval. If accepted, it would last for a period of 10 years, expiring on Jan. 31, 2022.
The idea behind the referendum is to draw in business, which is expected to stimulate economic development and create new jobs, officials have said.
The amount of the exemption would vary from business to business, officials have said. Qualifying new businesses could claim an exemption of 50 percent to 75 percent of the value of property improvements and tangible personal property. Expanding businesses also would be eligible for the exemption based on added improvements and increased tangible property value.
The amount of exemption is based on the amount of a business’ investment, the number of employees and other factors, officials have said. A business could be exempt for 5 to 10 years based on these factors.
The Economic Development Tax Incentive Program is already in place in Tampa, Plant City and Hillsborough County. Temple Terrace needed the referendum to pass in order to contend with those other jurisdictions, Affronti and Leinbach agreed.
“Now, we’re all working in unison,” Affronti said.
“In order to remain competitive, we need to step up to the plate,” Leinbach said. “We need to put our best foot forward, and I think our residents realize that as evidenced by their vote.”