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Incentives

The following information is based on locating a business in the City of St. Petersburg. The quick reference incentives matrix PDF below includes a summary of the program information and boundary maps.

For complete program guidelines and application forms, please click on the links below or contact us or the agency noted.

Incentives  


Grow Smarter Job Creation and Talent Attraction Program

This program provides awards to companies with 49 employees or less that hire new employees at salaries above Pinellas County's average wage. Companies must be identifed with one of the city's five target industry clusters: Marine and Life Sciences, Specialized Manufacturing, Financial Services, Data Analytics, and Creative Arts and Design.

For each new job created at 115% or more of the average county wage, the incentive amount is $3,000 per new job. Greater awards are available to companies paying higher wages. For each new job created and filled by a resident of the City of St. Petersburg, there will be a bonus $2,000 incentive paid and for each job created and filled by a resident of the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area, there will be a bonus $3,000 incentive paid. Employees hired under this Program must remain employed by the company for at least twelve months for the company to claim the incentive. The incentive will be paid at the end of the twelve-month period.


Ad Valorem Tax Exemption for Economic Development

St. Petersburg City Council passed the Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption program on October 18, 2012 to grant ad valorem tax exemptions to qualifying new businesses and expansions of existing businesses that create new full-time jobs in the city. The tax exemption for qualifying businesses will apply only to the new increment of the assessed St. Petersburg millage on improvements including tangible property. The annual overall program cap is $1.5 million of exempted taxes and the individual project cap is $100,000 of exempted taxes. 

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Reduced Transportation Impact Fee

The city collects transportation impact fees (TIF's) for land development projects to fund needed transportation system improvements to support new trips generated by the project. TIF rates are based on project type and size. To encourage capital investment, projects located in certain areas of the city are elegible for reduced TIF rates.

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Urban Job Tax Credit:

A new or expanding business that creates new full-time jobs in specified industries including manufacturing (SIC 20-SIC 39) can receive a $1,500 tax credit per job.  A new business must create at least 10 new jobs and an existing business must have at least 5 more qualified employees than it had one year prior to its date of application. The incentive is a state corporate income tax credit or state sales/use tax credit of $1,500 per job. Credit is one time only for each new hire.   (s. 212.097, F.S.)

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Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program (QTI):

This program provides an inducement for target industry to locate new facilities in Florida or to expand existing facilities in Florida. The program provides tax refunds (corporate, insurance premium, sales/use, intangible personal property, emergency excise, excise taxes on documents, ad valorem) of $3,000 per job. Greater awards are available to companies paying very high wages.

To qualify for the QTI program, a company must create at least 10 new jobs (or a 10% increase for expanding Florida companies), pay an average of at least 115% of area wages, have a significant positive impact on the community and have local support. The city may request waiver of average wages requirement, if a project is located in a Brownfield area, but only if the merits of the project in relation to the community warrant such action. 

Funds may not be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community in Florida unless Florida's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development determines that without such relocation the business will move outside Florida or determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale for the relocation and that the relocation will create additional jobs.  The business must file an application before the business has made the decision to locate a new business in this state or before the business had made the decision to expand an existing business in this state.  (s.288.106, F.S.)

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 HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program:

This program seeks to encourage economic development in historically underutilized business zones - HUBZones - through the establishment of preferences for award of Federal contracts to small businesses located in these areas. The programs falls under the auspices of the U.S. Small Business Administration. As of October 1, 2000, all Federal departments and agencies involved with procurement must factor into their contracting plans annual goals that have been established for the HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program (FY2002 - 2.5% of total Federal prime contract awards, FY 2003 and each fiscal year thereafter - 3%).

For a business to qualify as a HUBZone small business the following criteria must be met:

  • Small business by SBA standards
  • Located in a HUBZone - SBA online mapping service
  • Owned and controlled by one or more U.S. citizens, a Community Development Corporation, or Indian Tribe
  • At least 35% of its employees reside in a HUBZone

Another benefit that HUBZone businesses are eligible for is higher SBA-guaranteed surety bonds on construction and service contract bids.

The district office that works with the City of St. Petersburg's HUBZone is the South Florida DO. Contacts at the office are Jack Geis (305-536-5841) or Gilbert Colon (305-536-5527).

Additional information can be obtained at www.sba.gov/hubzone the HUBZone web page.

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Sales Tax Exemptions:

The State of Florida has numerous sales tax exemptions. For more information contact your tax professional, contact the Florida Department of Revenue at 850-488-6387 or go to the Florida Department of Revenue's website.

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Brownfield Redevelopment Bonus:

A State Tax Refund of 20% of average annual wage of new jobs creates up to $2,500 per new job.  The business must be eligible for QTI or make a $2 million capital investment and create 10 new Florida full-time jobs with benefits, and provide City/County resolution providing 20% of tax refund.  (s. 288.107, F.S.) To learn more, please visit the city's Brownfields site page.

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High Impact Performance Incentive Grant (HIPI):

  • Official Narrative
  • General Project Overview form 

    The High Impact Performance Incentive Grant (HIPI) is a negotiated incentive used to attract and grow major high impact facilities in Florida. Grants are provided to pre-approved applicants in certain high-impact sectors (which has recently been expanded to include financial services) designated by the Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development. In order to participate in the program, a company must be in a designated high impact sector; create at least 50 new full-time equivalent jobs (if a research and development facility, create at least 25 new full-time equivalent jobs) in Florida in a 3-year period; and make a cumulative investment in the state of at least $50 million (if a research and development facility, make a cumulative investment of at least $25 million) in a 3-year period.  They also must apply to Enterprise Florida prior to making a decision to locate or expand in Florida.  View the Florida Statute, s. 288.108, (F.S.)

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Qualified Defense Contractor Tax Refund:

The Qualified Defense Contractor Tax Refund is a pre-approved tax refund program that provides up to $5,000 per net new job created or saved in Florida that is defense related. Conversion of defense jobs to civilian production, the acquisition of a new defense contract, or the consolidation of a defense contract are eligible projects. If approved, an applicant may receive refunds on taxes it pays related to the project. There is a cap of $7.5 million per single qualified applicant in all years and no more than $2.5 million in tax refunds may be received in any fiscal year. In order to participate, a company must apply to Enterprise Florida prior to making a decision to locate or expand in Florida. 

In order to participate a company must derive at least 70% of its Florida gross receipts from Department of Defense contracts in the last year and not less than 80% over the preceding five years, demonstrate that the jobs created or retained make a significant economic contribution to the area economy, demonstrate that the tax refund is necessary to allow the business to complete for the new contract or make a consolidation, and provide a resolution from the county commission indicating the 20% required for local financial support will be available each year as refunds are due. View the Florida Statute, s. 288.1045, (F.S.)

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Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC) :

  • CITC Attachment to the General Project Overview form 
  • General Project Overview form 

    The program offers an annual credit against the corporate income tax for up to 20 years in an amount equal to 5% of the eligible capital costs generated by a qualifying project. The business must apply and be certified by the state of Florida prior to the commencement of operations.  The business must be in a designated high impact sector, create at least 100 new jobs in Florida, and make a cumulative capital investment of at least $25 million. (s. 220.191, F.S.)

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Economic Development Transportation Fund ("Road Fund"):

This is a state grant to the City of St. Petersburg on behalf of the business. Grant funding is used to alleviate a transportation problem that adversely impacts the company's location or expansion decision. The business must file an application prior to making the decision to locate a new business in this state or before the business had made the decision to expand an existing business in this state.  (s. 288.063, F.S.)

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Ad Valorem Tax Exemption for Historic Preservation:

This is city and county program that exempts eligible property owners from an increase in city or county taxes resulting from an approved renovation for ten years. Available to individually listed historic properties or those contributing to a historic district, many of which are located in downtown St. Petersburg.  Projects must expend in construction costs a sum at least 10% of the assessed taxable value of the property. Project must be reviewed and approved by the City of St. Petersburg prior to construction.  City Council approves tax exemption after work is completed. The maximum incentive for a single family home is $100,000 and $1,000,000 for all others. Contact the City of St. Petersburg Urban Design and Historic Preservation at 727-893-7153 for more information.

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Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit:

This federal program, administered by the Florida Division of Historic Resources, is open to taxpayers substantially renovating a historic building and provides a tax credit on federal income tax of 20% of the eligible renovation costs. The property must be a certified historic structure, used for income-producing purposes, and the rehabilitation must be certified as consistent with the historic character of the property. "Substantial" means rehabilitation expenses must exceed the adjusted basis of the building and its structural components. A "certified historic structure" is one listed on the National Register of Historic Places or contributing to a National Register historic district. Contact the City of St. Petersburg Urban Design and Historic Preservation at 727-893-7153 for more information.

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Federal Non-Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit:

The program, administered by the IRS, is federal income tax credit of 10% of the eligible renovation costs and is available to owners of commercial, nonresidential properties not listed on the National Register and constructed prior to 1936. These buildings must be certified as non-historic by the National Park Service and meet the following conditions after renovation: 1) 50% or more of the existing external walls are retained in place as external walls; 2) 75% or more of the existing external walls are retained in place as internal or external walls; and 3) 75% or more of the existing internal structural framework is retained in place. Contact the City of St. Petersburg Urban Design and Historic Preservation at 727-893-7153 for more information.

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State of Florida Programs

FloridaFlex

Provides grant funding to relocating or expanding busnesses for expenses related to training new or existing employees after jobs have been created or retained, and training has occurred. Eligible businesses will be in a qualifed target industry, have an exportable good or service, and have wages 115% above average state or local wage.

Incumbent Worker Training Grant

Provides grant funding to employers to assist with expenses associated with customized skills upgrade training for existing employees. Eligible businesses must have been in operation for at least 1 year, have at least 1 full time employee, and be current on all state taxes.

Sales Tax Exemption on Electricity and Steam

Business in eligible industries are eligible for an exemption of sales tax they pay on their electricity and steam. At least 50% of the electricity and steam used at the business' fixed location must be used to operate qualifying machinery or equipment. This program is administered by the Florida Department of Revenue.

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City of St. Petersburg
P.O. Box 2842
St. Petersburg, FL 33731

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