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.My Business Incentives Interactive Map - Find incentive programs a business may qualify for based on location within designated incentive and tax credit areas.
For complete program guidelines and application forms, please click on the links below or contact us or the agency noted.
- Commercial Revitalization Program (CRP)
- Grow Smarter Job Creation and Talent Attraction Program
- Ad Valorem Tax Exemption for Economic Development
- Reduced Transportation Impact Fee
- Urban Job Credit
- Sales Tax Exemptions
- Brownfield Redevelopment Bonus
- Capital Investment Tax Credit
- Ad Valorem Tax Exemption for Historic Preservation
- Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit
- Federal Non-Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit
- State of Florida Programs
This program provides grant money up to $100,000 to St. Pete projects located outside of the downtown core that involve future work on a new or existing commercial building or development and meet the following requirements:
- Improve business districts by redeveloping properties,
- decrease commercial vacancy rates,
- creating jobs,
- leverage private investment,
- add to the tax base, and
- improve the quality of life for surrounding neighborhoods.
Required Documents CLICK TO EXPAND ↓
The online application will require documentation that illustrates the impact of the project and its cost. Failure to provide all required information in the required time frames may render the application ineligible.
- Complete application form
- Submit $35 check or money order for background check per officer/principal
- Documentation of property ownership or written consent from property owner giving permission to conduct identified improvements and evidence of a lease agreement.
(The property owner will be required to sign the Grant Agreement to assume responsibility for maintenance of improvements funded by the Grant.)
- Detailed cost estimate of work by input (labor, materials, engineering, etc.) and project component (signage, landscaping, painting, carpentry, etc.) [in budget table format]
- Digital photographs of existing conditions of project, interior and exterior
- Three signed bids from licensed contractors itemizing the estimated cost of all project improvements
- Sketches or conceptual drawings of improvements to the property
- Proof that the applicant has secured the minimum capital investment (based on funding levels from Section V)
- Copy of current property insurance
- Legal description and survey of project site
- Encumbrance and title reports demonstrating that owner has clear title and the status of any encumbrances on the property
- Documentation of all other properties owned by applicant demonstrating that those properties are in good condition and in good standing with the city – no Code Enforcement liens, Special Assessments, etc.
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.
- Eligibility Map
- New Business Requirements
- Business Expansion Requirements
- Tax Exemption Process Flow Chart
- Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Application Steps
St. Petersburg City Council passed the Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption program on October 18, 2012, and renewed the program on June 15, 2017. This incentive grants 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.
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 eligible for reduced TIF rates.
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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.)
- To view the City's HUBZone Map, click here.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.)
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.
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.
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.
Provides grant funding to relocating or expanding businesses 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 qualified 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.