Melbourne Voters Can Expect to See Information on Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program
By Space Coast Daily // October 13, 2020
Voting yes will allow the City Council to continue with the Economic Development Ad
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Melbourne voters can expect to see some of the following questions at the end of this year’s ballot.
“Shall the City Council of the City of Melbourne be authorized to grant, pursuant to S. 3, Art. VII of the State Constitution, property tax exemptions to new businesses and expansions of existing businesses that are expected to create new, full-time jobs in the city?”
Voting yes on this item will allow the City Council to continue with the Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program through 2030. Voting no will end the program.
What is the Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program?
First approved by voters in 2000, the Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program provides new or expanding businesses that create new full-time jobs in the City of Melbourne an exemption of future City property taxes for new capital development investments.
To qualify, a new business to the City or existing business within certain industry categories must pledge to create a minimum of 10 new jobs along with a new capital investment of real or personal property.
The program does not involve any cash incentives, and only the new City of Melbourne property taxes are exempted. Taxes for Brevard County, School Board, and other taxing districts are not affected by the exemption, nor does it exempt taxes on existing land, buildings or tangible personal property.
New Jobs and Investment Created by the Program
From 2010-2019, the Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program created 2,353 jobs at an average wage of $70,603 with over $85 million in private capital investment.
Since the program was first enacted, more than half of the businesses that received a tax exemption remain active within the City and pay above-average wages for the area.
On occasion, a tax exemption provided to a business in one year leads to additional expansion and investment by that same company in future years.
For example, Northrop Grumman received a tax exemption in 2013 for a $20 million expansion with a commitment of 1,000 new jobs.
Subsequently, Northrop made the decision to expand again in 2015, making a substantial capital investment and a commitment to hiring 1,800 more employees.
Businesses Held Accountable
If a business fails to bring in the number of jobs it commits to under the program, the tax exemption is rescinded. Participating companies are required to report annually to the City the number of jobs created, the average wage, and the amount of capital investment made.
The city staff carefully checks each annual report to ensure compliance with all commitments under the program.