MCTA had some questions regarding the Martin County Business Development Board’s ask to extend the tax exemption program.
So we ask Joan Goodrich, BDB’s Executive Director. She responded with enthusiasm.
Q. You can’t guarantee the jobs to MC residents, I’m sure.
A. All businesses are encouraged to hire locally, now more than ever and as more than 8,000 Martin Countians are out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CareerSource Research Coast is our key partner who helps businesses find great local people and who often helps us plan hiring events with our growing businesses.
Q. Recipients “are expected” to produce jobs. Who oversees this and how often are the recipients reviewed?
A. If granted, the recipient would be required to report annually to the Board of County Commissioners (on or before March 1 of each year) to ensure accountability and through the term of the tax exemption.
Q. “…to grant property tax exemptions for expanding or new businesses that are creating “good” jobs. What are the parameters on this subjective adjective?
A. “Good” jobs for incentive purposes are defined as those paying above the average County wage which at this time is $41,808 and is updated annually by the State of Florida.
Q. Which businesses are “targeted” for this program? You must have some in mind to solicit.
A. According to Florida Statutes, the economic development ad valorem tax exemption allows for the following new and expanding businesses that:
- A. Manufactures, processes, compounds, fabricates, or produces for sale items of tangible personal property at a fixed location and which comprises an industrial or manufacturing plant; or
- B. Is a target industry business as defined in s. 288.106(2)(q);
- C. A business or organization establishing 25 or more new jobs to employ 25 or more full-time employees in this state, the sales factor of which, as defined by s. 220.15(5), for the facility with respect to which it requests an economic development ad valorem tax exemption is less than 0.50for each year the exemption is claimed; or
- D. Establishes an office space in this state owned and used by a business or organization newly domiciled in this state; provided such office space houses 50 or more full-time employees of such business or organization; provided that such business or organization office first begins operation on a site clearly separate from any other commercial or industrial operation owned by the same business or organization.
Q. How can you guarantee that the “10 or more jobs” to be created don’t dwindle?
A. See # 2 response. Additionally, if a business fails to report or fulfill any other representation made to the Board of County Commissioners, the Board may adopt an ordinance revoking the ad valorem tax exemption.
Q.“Temporarily reduces some county taxes”…..for how long is the relief contracted? 5 years, 10 years?
A. According to Florida Statutes, the economic development ad valorem tax exemption may be granted for up to 10 years except for data centers which may be granted the exemption for up to 20 years. Please note though, the Board of County Commissioners will determine what the actual tax exemption period will be.
Q. My understanding is that this could be for existing facilities to expand. Are there any existing facilities that you would have on your radar for this program?
A. At this time, the BDBMC is working with one local, existing business with plans to construct a new facility who could be eligible to use this program if it is reauthorized by the voters.
Q. Most importantly, how does this affect existing businesses which could be competitors?
A. It is important to note that taxes are still paid on the land and the existing tax base remains in place so current services are not affected.
Q. Why do you think only 1 application was received since 2010? And if this is the case, why bother?
A. When I consider the economic environment and “shovel-readiness” of Martin County then and now and the desire to make more products here locally and in the U.S., I see many more potential business investment opportunities for us to encourage at locations like Seven J’s Industrial Park, Indiantown Marine Center, AgTEC, Martin Enterprise Park, Florida Commerce Park and in our Community Redevelopment Areas to name a few.
Q.Are there any successful cases you can point to from other counties?
A. Yes and here they are:
City Electric Supply Co. – St. Lucie County (business retention and expansion)
- $32 million capital investment
- 411,000 square foot manufacturing facility
- 50 jobs
- $365,180 tax exemption for first five years
Carrier Corporation – Palm Beach County (business retention and expansion)
- $115 million capital investment
- 250,000 square foot office facility
- 380 jobs
- $3 million tax exemption
Carvana – Polk County (new to Florida)
- $48.5 million capital investment
- 250,000 square foot distribution facility
- 100 jobs
- $2.1 million tax exemption
Joan K. Goodrich, Executive Director
Business Development Board of Martin County
1002 SE Monterey Commons Blvd. Suite 207
Stuart, FL 34996
772-221-1380 (office) | 772-210-0211 (direct) | 772-486-1001 (cell)