Clearwater, FLA. (Nov. 21, 2013) — General Electric Company (GE) has selected Clearwater as the new site to expand their manufacturing operations which will result in 263 new jobs and a $49 million expansion to their current site.
Instrument Transformers, Inc., a subsidiary of General Electric Company, is currently located at 1907 Calumet St., in the Hercules Avenue industrial area. Instrument Transformers, Inc. has been in Clearwater for 38 years and currently has 436 employees. They will expand the Calumet Street facility and create a manufacturing Center of Excellence. The company had considered other sites in the U.S. and abroad.
“Due to the economy during the last five years, the city created an economic development strategic plan and invested time and resources to creating new opportunities. Part of the plan was to ask the voters to approve a tax exemption program which would create jobs,” said Mayor George N. Cretekos. “This is a big win for the City of Clearwater, and it shows that we can compete for high quality jobs.”
In August 2013 the City Council authorized the Economic Development and Housing Department to negotiate incentives within a range. Those incentives will be brought back to the Council for final approval at the December 5, 2013, City Council Meeting. The move and expansion is a direct result of voter approval of the Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemptions which can be offered to qualified new and expanding businesses.
Background on the Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program
Under Florida law, counties and cities are allowed to grant ad valorem tax exemptions to new businesses and expansions to existing businesses that create new jobs. Clearwater voters approved a referendum question in November 2012 giving the City Council the authority to grant Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemptions to qualified new and expanding businesses that are creating jobs. Exemptions are provided for citywide ad valorem taxes on the assessed value of improvements to real property and on tangible property attributable to the expansion.
Businesses that are granted an Economic Development Ad Valorem tax exemption are required to file an Annual Report that verifies milestones stated in the application are achieved.