City Urges Voters to Favor Tax Exemptions

Officials say Temple Terrace would be more attractive to new businesses if a referendum passes Jan. 31.

The is encouraging residents to vote “yes” on a to new and expanding businesses.

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 .

“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 , all registered voters in Temple Terrace will have the opportunity to weigh in on the referendum regardless of party affiliation. 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.

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.”

We asked readers on Facebook and Twitter to tell us what they thought of the referendum, but we got no responses. Do you have an opinion? Tell us in the comments.

Paul Folse January 17, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I'm in favor of the tax exemptions. There are too many government regulations, high taxes, etc. in this country. That's what's driving jobs elsewhere, even overseas. We need to wake up in this country.
William Erickson January 28, 2012 at 08:45 AM
Temple Terrace's taxes are not so high as to drive businesses out. Our tax money is pretty well managed to provide the best in city services that a business should be interested in. Our city govt. is lean and accessible; our police and fire depts are top-notch; so too our sanitation and water services. For employees that may choose to live here, we have good schools, library, and recreation facilities. Our streets are well maintained and our code enforcement is well-adhered to. It takes money (taxes), good management (and dedicated staff) to have these great services. (I don't recall seeing ads for Mercedes-Benz being on sale.) All of these aspects help make our city attractive and we don't need to sell ourselves at a discount (reduced taxes for newbies), and give up revenues that are needed to keep up these services, just to attract new bargain-hunting businesses or residents.
Grant Rimbey January 29, 2012 at 12:15 AM
They have my "yes" vote. I think this issue came to a head when Temple Terrace was recently trying to attract Time Warner, and found it tough competing with Tampa which does offer incentives.


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