Penny for Pinellas tax to be used as funding for new jobs program

New Pinellas program aims to bring in new jobs
Pinellas Employment Sites Program
Posted at 11:19 AM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 20:52:56-05

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — For the first time in tax history, approximately $80 million is allocated to help businesses with construction costs, redevelopment of industrial space and office buildings.

The money will be distributed based on a competitive bidding process over the next ten years. Applications for the first round opened on January 11.

“It’s manufacturers on the industrial side, financial services companies corporate headquarters and IT companies on the office side,” Mike Meidel, the Director of Economic Development for Pinellas County, said. “Our labor force is continuing to grow, and our job creation is continuing to match that, so I feel pretty good about it.”

Preparing for future growth and enticing new money into Pinellas County are all goals of the program. Meidel said local businesses operating in Pinellas County looking to expand their space could also apply. The hope is to keep established companies from moving to other counties that might offer better incentives.

“What we are trying to do is create space that is attractive to the newer employers,” Meidel said. “And, creating jobs for the locals because generally when a company moves here, they are only bringing a small section of their staff, and they are looking to make local hires.”

A business looking to move to Pinellas County or participate in the program also doesn’t have to meet a minimum threshold for employers.

“This project is for the first time designed to actually build the space even if you don’t have a tenant in hand,” Meidel said.

For this program, allowable capital expenditures related to development include site preparation, vertical construction, infrastructure development and site acquisition.

The deadline to apply is March 11 at 5 p.m. For more information, click here.