BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County Commissioners and the Bay Economic Development Alliance are working together to bring some 800 jobs to our area.
Officials said economic development is a competitive business which is why they’re pulling out all the stops to close the deal on three major projects.
Earlier this week, Bay County commissioners voted to support Triumph funding and merit-based property tax abatements for three major economic projects if they locate here.
President of the Bay Economic Development Alliance, Becca Hardin, said Bay County is competing with states like Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama when it comes to recruiting new businesses to the area.
“So we have to use every tool in our tool box to be able to convince companies that this is not only the best community for them to come to, but it’s the most cost effective and advantageous community as well,” Hardin said.
Hardin said they announced five new companies this year. She said without the Triumph funding it’s safe to say Bay County would not have been in the game.
She also said the merit-based property tax abatement is another big incentive for these companies.
“For us to be able to offer a 10 year, 100 percent Ad Valorem tax abatement on real and personal property, if you run that out over a 10 year period, that’s a substantial savings,” Hardin said. “It’s a very important tool for us to be able to use here locally.”
At their most recent meeting, Bay County Commissioners voted to support Triumph funding for Project Blue Water, Project Ballistic and Project Tachyon.
They also voted to support merit-based property tax abatements for all three projects.
“They have to perform they have to bring jobs to Bay County for at least a year so it’s merit-based,” Bay County Commissioner, Bill Dozier said. “They won’t get here and get any kind of tax abatement until they have proven success so that’s a protection for the taxpayers of Bay County.”
Officials said it’s unusual to have this many projects at once bay say the post-pandemic demand for progress has contributed to the increased activity.
“So we’re starting to see the fruits of our labor and that’s why there’s so much project activity,” Hardin said. “People are ready to start implementing growth plans and get on with doing their businesses.”
Officials said they are hoping the tax abatements and triumph funding will help push those three projects over the finish line.