SEBASTIAN — City leaders, residents and business owners will gather next week to hash out the details of the city’s newly passed tax abatement referendum and other economic development issues.
The Dec. 2 workshop will address the requirements businesses have to satisfy before qualifying for tax breaks. Such requirements could include the number of new jobs created, the salaries for those jobs and the type of business the applicant is.
Existing businesses, too, could get tax breaks by expanding their sites – depending on how much expansion the business does and the number of jobs it adds.
City Manager Al Minner told the council last week that he is working on drafting an ordinance and changes to sections of the city’s charter to implement the tax incentives voters approved during the municipal election.
Voters approved the referendum by a vote of 2,008 to 951, giving city leaders the authority to freeze property taxes for businesses at a certain level for a certain period of time in an effort to generate new and expanding business in the city.
Mayor Richard Gillmor asked that business owners attend the workshop and provide input to “put the oar in the water and get this ship moving in the right direction.”
Along with addressing the tax abatement referendum, city leaders plan to discuss other economic issues.
Vice Mayor Jim Hill presented several ideas he would like to see the workshop incorporate. Those ideas include possible exemptions for development, temporarily suspending compliance on non-public safety issues, and designating a member of city staff to act as an economic liaison to help new businesses get the permits they need to open.
The workshop will be held at 6 p.m. in the city council chambers at Sebastian City Hall. It is open to the public.