Governmental action from around the Gulf Coast.
Community Planning Act moving ahead
TALLAHASSEE — Senate Bill 1122, a major growth management reform measure titled the “Community Planning Act,” which revises and provides duties of local governments and municipalities relating to comprehensive plans, passed out of the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee with a unanimous vote. Sen. President pro-tempore Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton sponsored the bill. A similar measure in the House, HB 7129, passed its two committees and goes to the House floor for action.
Property tax limits advances
TALLAHASSEE — The House Appropriations Committee approved a bill April 15 to let Florida voters decide whether to eliminate a 10% cap on increased property taxes for investor-owned property and change it to a 3% cap. The joint resolution (HJR 381) prohibits local governments from increasing property taxes more than 3% a year on non-homestead properties, meaning homes that are not used as the owner's primary residence. The bill also prohibits increases in property taxes on any property in a year when the market value decreases, and gives first-time home buyers an additional tax break of 50% of the value of their home, not to exceed $200,000. A similar bill in the Senate (SJR 658) has two more committee stops before reaching the Senate floor.
House flushes septic tank inspections
TALLAHASSEE — The House voted April 15 to repeal a program mandating septic tank inspections that was passed as part of a springs protection bill last year. The measure passed 110-3 with three Democrats opposed. Supporters say the inspection requirement, which was part of a larger environmental bill originating in the Senate last year, created an undue financial burden on septic tank owners. The measure, House Bill 13, still needs Senate approval.
Commissioners approve business incentives
SARASOTA COUNTY — Sarasota County commissioners approved two requests for economic development ad valorem tax exemptions. Sarasota Medical Products Inc. and PGT Industries, Inc. received the exemptions for tangible personal property purchased to expand the businesses. Sarasota County voters approved the exemption in an August 2010 referendum.
Commissioners also approved an economic development incentive grant of $80,000 for an existing company code named Project Spotlight. The company sought the grant funding to expand its business within the county. The company promises to create 26 new jobs over the next five years with an average wage of $39,000. Commissioners deferred action on a request for a $100,000 economic development incentive grant for a company code named Project Green Composite Products related to concerns about immigration documents that still needed to be filed.
A community meeting for the West Market redevelopment will be at 5 p.m. Monday, April 25, at Hudson High School, 14410 Cobra Way, Hudson.
The county commission will hold a workshop meeting with the Tourist Development Council at 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 26, in the fourth floor clerk's conference room, Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Clearwater. For more information, call 727-464-3485.
The Ybor City Development Corp., Inc. board of directors meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, at the YCDC Office, 2015 E. 7th Ave., Tampa. For more information, call Angela Stephen at 813-274-7936 or email [email protected].
The 14th Street West Community Redevelopment Agency and the South County Redevelopment Agency will hold a joint meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, at the Central Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd. W., Bradenton.
The Tourist Development Council retreat will be held at 8:30 a.m. April 27, in the second floor board room of the Sun Trust Bank building, 18501 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte. For more information, call Liz Parker at 941-743-1900.