Amazon tax incentives approved in Hillsborough - WFLA News Channel 8

Amazon tax incentives approved in Hillsborough

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Hillsborough County commissioners are throwing out bait, hoping to lure in Amazon.

On Wednesday, they approved tax incentives to convince the internet giant to build a warehouse in Ruskin.  

The proposed facility would be built near State Road 674 and Interstate 75.

Hillsborough county commissioners see a whole lot of potential for that land, and they're hoping Amazon takes advantage of it.

Commissioner Kevin Beckner said, "We've been told time and time again that land and that area is prime for manufacturing or distribution."

Commissioner Sandra Murman said, "There are hard working tax payers in south county who want their tax dollars spent to create jobs so they can work."

Amazon is considering this area near South Shore Corporate Park as a site for an online fulfillment center.

It would be one million square feet in size, and could create one thousand jobs. About 375 of those jobs are higher-quality jobs, bringing a salary of $47,581.

In return, the county is offering a little more than $6 million in tax incentives spread over seven years.

Beckner said, "What we are approving today is a very small dowry to court a potentially great corporate community marriage."

It's pretty clear if Amazon brings a warehouse to the area, it could be an economic boon for Ruskin. The potential effects could also be seen throughout the region.

Commissioner Victor Crist said, "By having [Amazon] here, it's like having a perfect anchor come in and establish a store in your shopping center. Now everyone else wants to co-locate to have that same address."

Not to mention that once Amazon builds in Florida, it would collect state sales tax, adding potentially millions to the state coffers.

For these commissioners, the idea of Amazon in Ruskin is exciting, but ultimately it's the company's choice.

Amazon is exploring other areas of the state.

Hillsborough County Economic Development Director Ron Barton said, "We know for certain Polk County is being considered. We know there have been some conversations in Jacksonville. We hear rumors of others, but the fact of the matter is they're going to have probably more than one location in Florida."

Barton said if Ruskin is chosen, Hillsborough County will hear about it sometime later this summer.

County commissioners will have a public hearing about Amazon on July 17th.  After that, they will hold a final vote on the tax incentives.


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