Local Tax Incentives Take Center Stage in Florida

Due to budget constraints, Florida has not extended one of its primary economic development incentives, the qualified target industry (QTI) tax refund, for the new fiscal year. This incentive, which expired on June 30, 2020, allowed certain targeted businesses creating quality jobs, up to $1.5 million (mn) in tax refunds each year. These refunds could be taken against corporate income, sales, ad valorem, intangible personal property, insurance premium, communications services and certain other taxes.

The QTI program required support from the county, in which the investment was to take place, so there has always been some local incentives support. With the expiration of the state QTI, counties are taking on a more active role in supporting new business investment. We have highlighted some examples in this article, but this is not an all-inclusive list.

Pasco County Job Creation Incentive Program

This program closely mirrors the state’s QTI program, offering between $2,000 and $5,000 per new job created by businesses. The requirements include:

  • Ten or more new jobs created in Pasco county during the first year of operations
  • Average annual wage of at least 115% of the prevailing Pasco county wage
  • Sales of 51% or more outside Pasco county
  • Paid out over four years in 25% installments


Nassau County Economic Development Grant

This program offers a grant of 100% of real and personal property taxes due on the level of new capital investment and new jobs created in Year 1, declining each subsequent year (see chart below).

The requirements include:

  • Ten or more new jobs created in Nassau county
  • $1 million or more in new capital investment
  • Average annual wages of at least 100% of Nassau county’s average wage

Nassau County Economic Development Grant


City of Tampa Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption

A business located in the city could apply for exemptions on both Hillsborough county and city of Tampa property taxes. The exemptions are provided for city-wide ad valorem taxes on the assessed value of improvements to real property and tangible personal property attributable to the expansion. Exemptions of 50%-75% of taxes are provided on a three-tier system for five to 10 years based on the number and types of jobs created, average annual wages and location of the business. The requirements include:

  • Ten or more new full-time jobs created in Tampa
  • Business must be classified as a target industry
  • Both new investments and expansions are eligible


Pinellas County Job Creation Tax Credit

This incentive was created as a bonus to the state QTI program for larger projects. It allows incentives of  $500 for each new job paying 150% of average county wages and $1000 for each job paying 200% of average county wages. The requirements include:

  • Two hundred fifty or more new full-time jobs created in Pinellas county
  • $50 million or more in new capital investment
  • Business must be classified as a target industry
  • The maximum grant amount cannot exceed 50% of the net new ad valorem and personal property taxes paid annually to Pinellas county as a result of the project


Miami-Dade Targeted Jobs Incentive Fund

The targeted jobs incentive fund (TJIF) offers existing or relocating Miami-Dade companies in select industries, undertaking a business expansion, a tax refund of 80% of the amount of incremental county-wide ad valorem property taxes generated by the project for up to 10 years. Businesses that expand or relocate within the boundaries of the Enterprise Zone, Targeted Urban Areas, Brownfield areas and Community Development Block Grant eligible areas qualify for an additional incentive amount. The requirements include:

  • Ten or more new jobs created in Miami-Dade county
  • Average wages must be at least 100% of average state wages
  • $3 million or more in new capital investment
  • Available for targeted high-value industries

The Duff & Phelps Site Selection and Incentives Advisory team can help with identifying, securing and complying with the right incentives for your project.  

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