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Incentives

Economic Competitiveness

Florida is one of the top states in which to do business for a reason.  Low regulations, low cost of labor, excellent colleges and universities and zero state income tax are only a few.

The City of Sanford expends funds to encourage high impact projects to help incentivize proposed private economic development projects in order to strengthen the community’s economic viability. These incentives can take a variety of forms such as tax breaks, building supporting infrastructure, or workforce development. Sanford uses incentives to pursue economic goals such as tax base diversification, job creation, housing stock creation, or business retention and expansion.

Economic Incentives Map

Printable map of Economic Incentives in Sanford.

Economic Incentives Map

Interactive map of Economic Incentives in Sanford.

The Economic Development Office provides assistance with the following:

Local Incentives

The rebate depends on the economic benefits of the project to the local community and can be as much as 100% for a period of 10 years as approved by the City Commission. The entire City falls within the incentive zone and can be combined with others such as Opportunity Zones, Community Redevelopment Grants and Federal CDBG grants

Downtown CRA (S.W.E.E.T) and Goldsboro (G.R.E.E.N) – offer a number of enhanced incentives for companies using and/or developing designated Brownfield sites in these areas. These incentives include a $2500 Job Bonus Refund for each eligible job created in the areas; a sales tax refund for building materials used in eligible affordable housing projects, 50% Voluntary Tax Credits, and State Loan Guarantees. Site specific federal Brownfield incentives are also available.

Offers a rebate of 90% of the City utility franchise fee to companies consuming more than 1.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per month.

This City tax abatement program is aimed at creating jobs and stimulating capital investment in the City of Sanford. This program is a local tax incentive for designated targeted industry businesses which may be granted at the sole discretion of the City Commission. Land is not eligible for the exemption. The applicant may receive a level of tax abatement equal to 50% of the local tax on average over the period of abatement which is a maximum of 10 years.

Sanford’s Community Redevelopment Agency provides eligible properties and businesses with several incentive options.

  • New Construction – This program allows the CRA to contribute a maximum of 20% toward eligible costs with a maximum payout as determined by the annual program criteria.
  • Rehabilitation/Loan Subsidy – This program is very similar to the New Construction incentive above, but is designed to assist existing buildings that require rehabilitation.
  • Façade Improvement Grant – This program is a grant which allows the CRA to contribute as much as 50% toward eligible façade improvements with a maximum payout as determined by the annual program criteria.

The Economic Development Department of Seminole County initiated a Jobs Growth Incentive Fund in 1995 for companies creating new jobs. Seminole County will consider awarding funds for expenses such as impact and permit fees, relocation costs, equipment purchases, land acquisition, building construction, loan interest pay-down, lease-hold improvements or any other legitimate business expense as determined by Board of County Commissioners. Special consideration will be given to projects seeking to locate in targeted redevelopment areas. Preference will be given to projects that will be constructing new buildings. This program is available to new, relocating, and expanding companies in Seminole County. New start-up companies must create a minimum of 3 new jobs that will earn 80% of the county’s average annual wage. Expanding companies must increase their employee base by a minimum of 10% and the jobs created must earn at least 80% of the county’s average annual wage. Companies relocating within Seminole County will need to create a minimum of 25 new jobs and must earn at least 115% of the county’s average annual wage. The county’s average annual wage is currently $40,015.

State Incentives

Enterprise Florida offers five trade grants worth up to $10,000 that small and medium-sized manufacturers and services providers can apply for to help reduce the cost of doing business around the world.

DID YOU KNOW?

These trade grants can help you exhibit at international trade shows, find an overseas business partner, develop an export marketing plan, or build a foreign-language website?

Designed to encourage the creation of high-skill jobs and encourage the growth of corporate headquarters and other targeted industries. QTI provides a tax refund of $3,000 per new job created in Florida through the expansion of existing Florida businesses or the location of new ones. (This increases to $6,000 per job within an Enterprise Zone or Rural County). A business is eligible for a $1,000 per job bonus if it pays over 150% average wage in the area, and a $2,000 per job bonus if over 200%. Projects must be supported by their community to the amount of 20% of the incentive.

Designed to encourage the creation of high-skill jobs and encourage the growth of corporate headquarters and other targeted industries. QTI provides a tax refund of $3,000 per new job created in Florida through the expansion of existing Florida businesses or the location of new ones. (This increases to $6,000 per job within an Enterprise Zone or Rural County). A business is eligible for a $1,000 per job bonus if it pays over 150% average wage in the area, and a $2,000 per job bonus if over 200%. Projects must be supported by their community to the amount of 20% of the incentive.

A tool to preserve and grow Florida’s high technology employment base, giving Florida companies a competitive edge as defense contractors consolidate defense contracts, acquire new contracts, or convert to commercial production. Pre-approved projects receive tax refunds of up to $5,000 per job created or saved in Florida. Projects must be supported by their community, which provides funding for 20% of the incentive.

Referred to as the “Road Fund”, this incentive is one of Florida’s oldest incentive programs. It provides local governments with funding for transportation-related projects required to induce companies to locate, remain or expand within the local government’s jurisdiction.

Created to promote the economic viability of rural communities and create jobs for residents of Florida’s rural areas by leveraging the use of existing federal, state, and local financial resources. This program provides local governments with access to financial assistance through low-interest long-term loans.

Reserves 20% of Florida’s total annual private activity bond allocation for large industrial projects making significant contributions to Florida’s economy. Florida also reserves a portion of the total allocation to assist small manufacturers to obtain very cost-effective financing for expansion or relocation projects, if allocation is not available from the Manufacturing Facilities Bond Pool.

A negotiated incentive used to attract and grow major high impact facilities in Florida. Grants are provided to pre-approved applicants in certain high-impact sectors. Once approved, the high impact business is awarded 50 percent of the eligible grant upon commencement of operations and the other half once full employment and capital investment goals are met.

Used to attract and grow businesses in these sectors by providing an exemption for all sales and use taxes on investments in machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and research.

Used to attract and grow capital-intensive industries in Florida. It is an annual credit against the corporate income tax which is available for up to 20 years in an amount equal to 5% of the eligible capital costs generated by a qualifying project. Eligible capital costs include all expenses incurred in the acquisition, construction, installation and equipping of a project from the beginning of construction to the commencement of operations. Available to businesses in HIPI-designated sectors. Businesses must make an investment of at least $100M to receive the full credit.

Created by the Legislature in 1997 to encourage development of abandoned, idled or underused industrial and commercial sites where expansion or development is complicated by actual or perceived environmental contamination. The Bonus is designed to work with QTI projects, paying a bonus of $2,500/job over and above the QTI award. The Bonus Program was expanded by the Legislature in 2000 and provides a $2,500 per job award for non-QTI projects that meet job creation and capital investment.

OTTED oversees the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program which encourages private sector donations to community redevelopment projects in enterprise zones and to low-income housing projects. A tax credit of 50% of the donation is allowed.

Stimulates investment in Florida’s economy by assisting Local Governments in attracting and retaining targeted businesses. Applications are accepted from local governments/municipalities that plan on offering qualified business assistance (not derived from State or Federal funds) to a specific business in the area. These targeted businesses are required to create at least 15 full-time jobs and the project must either be new to Florida; expanding operations in Florida; or leaving Florida unless it receives local and state government assistance. The amount awarded by the State of Florida will equal $50,000 or 50% of the local government’s qualified business assistance amount (not derived from State or Federal funds), whichever is less, and be provided following the commitment and payment of that assistance.

For more information about State of Florida incentives, visit enterpriseflorida.com

Federal Incentives

The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) was established in 2000. Congress authorizes the amount of credit authority, which is then allocated to qualified applications by the Treasury Department. Since 2003, the program has parceled out credits worth nearly $20 billion. The NMTC has supported over 4,800 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Some 41 percent of US census tracts qualify for NMTC investments. The credit expired at the end of 2014 but Congress extended the credit retroactively to 2015 and through 2019.


Find out more about this program –