The new structure of the Tallahassee-Leon County economic development apparatus is up to bat.
At the next Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency (IA) meeting, elected officials will be asked to consider the approval of a business incentive of $881,000 for the purposes of persuading a local company to choose Tallahassee-Leon County over an out-of-state competitor for its proposed expansion.
Due to the sensitive nature of the site selection process, the company has requested that its name not be disclosed. For that reason, the initiative has been labeled “Project Campus.”
Project Campus is an international company considering the expansion of its research and development facility which would create 120 new positions.
Currently this company hosts several domestic and international clients on a monthly basis and has developed strong partnerships with the Florida A&M University and Florida State University College of Engineering and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Project Campus is considering expanding its current facility by 44,000 square feet with a capital investment of approximately $14 million (an estimated $7 million in facilities and $7 million in equipment). The project is anticipated to create 120 permanent jobs paying average annual salaries in excess of 200% of Leon County’s average annual wage.
The Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis at the Florida State University estimates that the local direct/indirect economic impact for Project Campus is 625 new jobs, nearly $33.7 million in income or wages and approximately $129.8 million in total economic output.
The construction impacts are estimated to total 136 jobs (66 direct jobs), nearly $6.1 million in income or wages and more than $16.8 million in total economic output (sales/revenues).
The annual economic impact for Project Campus is estimated to generate 489 jobs (120 direct jobs), approximately $27.6 million in income or wages, and more than $113.0 million in total economic output (sales/revenues). Attachment #1 provides a detailed analysis of the economic impact results.
Since Project Campus is considering other locations for their expansion, the Office of Economic Vitality has proposed business incentives as way to make Leon County a more financially attractive option.
The Qualified Target Industry Program (QTI) is a state created and managed incentive program available to companies that create high wage jobs in targeted high value-added industries. The program includes refunds on corporate income, sales, ad valorem and certain other taxes for pre-approved applicants who create the targeted jobs.
QTI refunds range from $3,000 to $8,000 per net new job created. Companies can increase its QTI “per job” refund by establishing its business within certain geographically targeted areas and/or offering wages that are increasingly above average annual salaries.
Applications for this program are processed by Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity for approval. Traditionally, a QTI local match of 20% is required from the local community where the job creation is occurring, which can be funded out of the Business Recruitment and Incentive Fund.
The local commitment by the Intergovernmental Agency (IA) and local taxpayers for Project Campus for the next ten years is estimated to be $168,000 for the QTI tax refund program and $713,000 for the state financed part of the program, for a total incentive package of $881,000.
The IA, which consists of the the elected officials from the Leon County Commission and the City Commission, will consider the item on June 13th, 2017