A variety of business-friendly bills approved by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott will strengthen the state’s and Orlando’s business climate. The biggest impact will come from the $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. This new incentive fund will help improve public infrastructure and enhance workforce training, encouraging more businesses to locate or grow in Florida.
Other programs and initiatives approved include:
- An increased Research and Development Tax Credit that will raise the maximum amount of credits that may be granted from $9 million in 2017 to $16.5 million in 2018. By nearly doubling this investment, Florida is encouraging the growth and expansion of high-wage jobs in this state and fostering innovation.
- The approval of a sales and use tax exemption for property, equipment and electricity used at new, large-scale data centers that will help attract large capital investments.
- A decrease in the Business Rent Tax by .2 percent that will result in over $25 million in savings to Florida’s businesses and over $61 million annually moving forward.
In addition, the performance-based Qualified Target Industry (QTI) and the Quick Response Training (QRT) incentive programs remain in place as do the Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC), and High Impact Performance Incentive (HIPI). A variety of localized incentive programs for companies looking to expand or locate in the Orlando region are still available.
Other economic and community programs supported by the state include the recently opened infrastructure project, BRIDG (Bridging the Innovation Development Gap) with its Class 1,000 cleanroom facility. The advanced nanoscale manufacturing consortium will receive a total of $9.5 million for operations and new equipment. This catalytic project is expected to create thousands of new, high-tech jobs in the coming decade.
Space Florida, an agency dedicated to fostering the growth and development of Florida’s world-leading space industry, received $19.5 million from the state.
Another critical Orlando region project, the University of Central Florida and Valencia College downtown campus, will receive $1.69 million. The campus is scheduled to open in August 2019 and will bring more than 7,700 students downtown. The campus will be an important part of Creative Village, a 68-acre mixed-used, transit oriented, urban infill neighborhood designed as a “live, work, learn, and play” community within the city of Orlando.
Orlando’s business climate, with competitive incentives and unique opportunities for partnership and collaboration, is part of the fourth best state tax climate in the U.S. Find out more about locating and expanding here.