Officials said the measure would make the city more competitive in attracting new businesses, according to a press release issued by Mike Dunn, the city’s public information officer. It would also help create and retain jobs.
The Economic Development Tax Incentive Program already is in place in Tampa, Plant City and Hillsborough County, the release states, and Temple Terrace should offer the program as well to make sure the city is not overlooked when businesses consider relocating to the area, said Temple Terrace City Manager Kim Leinbach.
“If we aren’t competitive with the other jurisdictions, then we’re not going to land these notable companies,” Leinbach said in the release. “This isn’t a tax increase; it’s simply a way of making the city more competitive in attracting business.”
Although Jan. 31 is the Republican Presidential Preference Primary election, all registered voters in Temple Terrace will have the opportunity to weigh in on the referendum regardless of party affiliation. Early voting has already begun.
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.
If favored by voters, the measure would go to the Temple Terrace City Council for final approval. It would last for a period of 10 years, expiring on Jan. 31, 2022.
Mayor Joe Affronti said the program is important to Temple Terrace, according to the release, and he urged residents to approve the measure when they’re in the voting booth.
“We are the only jurisdiction that has not approved this, which puts us at a disadvantage,” he said in the release. “What this will do is allow us to provide an incentive for businesses to move here. That’s good for everyone.”