Many Temple Terrace Voters Favor City Referendum
More voters seem to be for tax breaks for new and expanding businesses rather than against them.
Charles Johnson knew exactly how he was voting when he got to his polling place on Election Day.
He said he chose to favor a City of Temple Terrace’s economic referendum, which would give tax exemptions to new and expanding businesses.
“They need some tax breaks for the businesses,” Johnson said.
The idea behind the referendum is to draw businesses to the city and create jobs, officials have said. Anyone can vote on the measure regardless of party affiliation. Polls are open until 7 p.m. today.
Jamie Curtis said he came to his polling place at the Woodmont Clubhouse not sure how he would vote. But once his ballot was in front of him, he too said he voted “yes” on the referendum.
“I just think it’ll help Temple Terrace expand and bring more business to Temple Terrace,” said the lifelong city resident.
The city is encouraging voters to favor the measure. Mayor Joe Affronti said the program is important to Temple Terrace, according to a press the release issued by the city earlier this month. He urged residents to approve the referendum 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.”
The Economic Development Tax Incentive Program is already in place in Tampa, Plant City and Hillsborough County.
“Temple Terrace’s taxes are not so high as to drive businesses out,” commented William Erickson. “Our tax money is pretty well managed to provide the best in city services that a business should be interested in.”
Erickson said city government and services are top-notch and the city needs revenue to continue offering high-quality public amenities. He compared Temple Terrace to a luxury car.
“I don’t recall seeing ads for Mercedes-Benz being on sale,” he wrote.
On the other hand, reader Paul Folse commented that he is in favor of the referendum.
“There are too many government regulations, high taxes, etc. in this country,” he wrote. “That’s what’s driving jobs elsewhere, even overseas.”
Voter Patricia Wehrman said she was thinking of the downtown redevelopment project when she voted “yes” on the referendum at the Woodmont Clubhouse on Election Day.
“I don’t think it’s going to be all that easy to rent those places down there,” she said. “And we need them.”