UPDATE: Sebastian polls close with three council seats on the line

By Debbie Carson, Online EditorSEBASTIAN — Voters in Sebastian made their way to the polls in light numbers Tuesday to elect three City Council members and also vote on a referendum proponents say will make the city more business friendly.Eight candidates were running for the three open seats on the Sebastian City Council. Two are incumbents Andrea Coy and Eugene Wolff. The others were challengers who include David DeVirgilio, Bob McPartlan, Al Paternoster, Lisanne Monier Robinson, Joe Scozzari and Don Wright. Along with selecting three candidates, voters will be asked whether or not they support the city’s tax abatement referendum.

The referendum asked voters if the city government should have authority to grant property tax exemptions to new businesses that create jobs and to businesses that expand and create jobs.Supporters say that the tax abatement referendum, if approved, would be used as an incentive to bring new jobs and businesses into the city.And while everyone running for Sebastian City Council has expressed support for the measure, candidate Joe Scozzari has voiced concerns regarding the loss of tax dollars from those participating businesses and how that could affect the city’s bottom line.Candidates have said that the tax abatement could be implemented in a number of ways, including a sliding scale that depends on how long the business would participate, the number of employees the business would hire and the wages those employees would earn.

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