Sarasota County and its municipalities are looking to attract new businesses and allow existing businesses to expand.
An Aug. 24 referendum would provide those businesses with up to a 100% exemption from property taxes and taxes on personal property.
“The county’s focus has been the creation of jobs, jobs and more jobs,” said Jeff Seward, the county’s chief financial planning officer.
Businesses hoping to benefit from the tax break will have to meet strict requirements.
They’ll have to employ 25 or more people, and at least half of their product must be exported outside of the county.
If a company meets those two requirements, it will then be scored on the number of jobs it creates; the average wage of those jobs; the company’s capital investment in the county; its innovation, which mainly deals with being environmentally friendly; and its commitment to using local resources — employment pool, subcontractors, etc.
Depending on its score in those categories, a company may qualify for a 100% exemption, no exemption at all or somewhere in-between.
Read more in the April 1 issue of The Sarasota Observer.
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