Mayor Buckhorn Proposes New Economic Development Tax Exemption Program

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Mayor Bob Buckhorn is proposing an Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program for new businesses locating in Tampa and existing businesses that are expanding their operations. The program must first be approved by Tampa City Council and adopted as an ordinance. City Council will consider the program at its next regular meeting on April 21, 2011 with a second public hearing for final approval.

This new economic development program would help to create and retain jobs. Qualifying new businesses may claim an exemption of 50% to 75% of the value of property improvements and tangible personal property. Expanding businesses would be eligible for the exemption based on added improvements and increased tangible property. Exemptions would be provided on a three-tier system for five to ten years based on the number and types of jobs created, average annual wages, and location of the business, according to the adopted criteria.

Because the program is intended as an incentive, a business must notify the City of Tampa of its intent to apply for an exemption before the business locates or expands. To qualify for the program, a business must meet the definition of a “High Value Business” that has a significant economic impact or is a “Target Industry.” Once the program is adopted, state statute requires that City Council must approve each application for the exemptions by ordinance.

Authority for the program comes from the Florida Constitution, State statute and a referendum that was passed by city voters on March 1, 2011. The City would join Hillsborough County in offering the tax exemptions. A business locating in the City could apply for exemptions on both Hillsborough County and City of Tampa taxes. Exemptions would not apply to taxes levied by other taxing authorities such as the School Board.

For more information please contact, Mark Huey, Economic Development Administrator at
(813) 274-7315 or via email at