City Seeking to Attract Higher-Paying, Local Jobs
City voters on December 7 will be asked to approve allowing the City Council to continue to use a crucial business recruitment tool to bring higher-paying jobs to Port St. Lucie.
The City Council this week unanimously voted to place a referendum on the December 7 ballot seeking the consideration of City voters for the authority to offer a limited-time tax abatement (also known as a reduction) of some property and intangible taxes for businesses in exchange for the creation of higher-paying jobs. This referendum will be on the same run-off ballot where City voters will choose the next District 3 City Council member.
A long-term goal of the City of Port St. Lucie is to support the growth of businesses to provide options for residents to work at home in PSL. Currently, 79,000 of our residents leave to work in counties to the south of us. Growing jobs in PSL has been a well-defined goal in the City’s Strategic Plan for many years. We are making progress in bringing new businesses paying above average wages to the City -- especially in our Southern Grove Jobs Corridor.
“One of the reasons we are making this great progress is because the State of Florida has provided a crucial tool for cities and counties. This tool allows Port St. Lucie to compete with others across the country in creating new jobs by expanding existing and new businesses,” said City Manager Russ Blackburn. “This tool abates only some property and intangible taxes for no more than 10 years for businesses that meet specific job creation criteria. These businesses will still pay school and other voter approved taxes. After year 10, the property is totally taxable. This tax abatement does not affect homeowner’s property taxes.”
The City has created a website page to help voters learn more about this referendum at www.cityofpsl.com/jobs, including a Frequently Asked Questions section.
The webpage also features information about how this tax abetment tool has helped Port St. Lucie successfully recruit businesses, including FedEx, Cheney Brothers, TAMCO/City Electric, Accel International Holdings, Inc. and OCULUS Surgical. All these businesses have two things in common:
- They are hiring new employees at higher than the average wage, who will buy goods and services in our community, including homes, and;
- They all considered the tax abatement to be a very important element when deciding where they would expand or relocate.
Since its inception, this program has helped City leaders recruit more than a dozen new businesses opening or expanding in PSL with nearly 1,000 new jobs created.
City leaders are available to speak to any homeowner association, professional association, business, resident or community group interested in learning more. To set up a presentation, please call 722-871-5159 or email [email protected] and [email protected].