Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Glades County Programs May Save Taxes

MOORE HAVEN, FL. (Feb. 22, 2006) -- Glades County's 19.94 square mile
Enterprise Zone, which includes the entire city limits of Moore Haven, as
well as portions of Palmdale, Muse, Lakeport, SR 80 and areas along US 27
was re-designated in January, making businesses and in some cases
residents eligible for tax incentives. Companies and residents building or
expanding properties within the enterprise zone are eligible for up to
$5,000 or $10,000 in refunds of sales tax paid on building materials.

Once the certificate of occupancy is issued, the property owner can elect
to have the property reappraised. The property, which may have increased
in value from $18,000 to $40,000, with the new construction makes the
property owner eligible for up to $512.00 in refunds of the sales tax paid
on those materials.

In calculating the sales tax refund, the difference in the assessed value
before the rehabilitation or new construction and after is calculated by
97 percent of the state sales tax, using a state-prescribed formula. The
applications are available in the EDC office, which submits them to the
Department of Revenue.

As Glades County Superintendent Wayne Aldrich observed, with impact fees
expected to go into effect in March, which will add $8,000 to the cost of
new residential construction, the $5,000 per parcel refund should
encourage development within the enterprise zone. For commercial
properties, which may take up two lots, companies may be eligible for
$10,000 per lot.

Glades County Economic Development Council Executive Director and
Enterprise Zone coordinator Tracy Whirls notes also that properties rebuilt
on lots where substandard or hurricane damaged homes and businesses were
cited won't be subject to impact fees if the new or rehabilitated structure
is the same size as the original. In addition to the building materials
sales tax refund, businesses locating within the enterprise zone are
eligible for job creation tax credits, and refunds on sales tax paid on new
business equipment.

Also, businesses located in an enterprise zone can also qualify for the
jobs tax credit against either their corporate income tax or Florida sales
and use tax. The program provides a credit of 30 percent of wages paid to
new eligible employees who are residents ofa rural county, not just in
Glades County, but in neighboring Hendry, DeSoto, Hardee, Okeechobee and
Highlands County and Immokalee as well. If more than 20 percent of the
employees are residents of an enterprise zone, the credit is 45 percent.

Businesses may be eligible for sales tax refunds paid on the purchase of
business equipment. For more information on Glades County's enterprise
zone tax incentives, call Ms. Whirls at 946-0300, or email

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