Make us your home page
Instagram

Micro Star Innovations gets tax break to bring jobs to Florida

Micro Star Innovations is one of those companies that builds things many people come into contact with every day, but seldom think twice about.

The company, in Largo since 2004, makes gadgets including after-market window switches for cars, specialized light bulb housings and high-tech laparoscopic surgical tools.

Now, thanks to a tax break, the company's 35 human employees and army of robotic workers might soon see new colleagues.

Micro Star will get the state-backed Qualified Targeted Industry tax incentive, which retroactively refunds taxes to some high-growth industries that add high-paying jobs in the state. The condition: The company must add 30 new positions over the next three years.

The state will pay for 80 percent of the $120,000 tax break, and Pinellas County and the city of Largo will each pay 10 percent.

"They've got some really nice jobs coming. This was a QTI that the city of Largo was very pleased to do," said Teresa Brydon, Largo Economic Development manager. "It's very much well worth it. It's not just the 30 jobs — it's the ability to have them help other businesses be able to stay."

Micro Star relies on many suppliers for components, Brydon said, and many toolmakers and metalworking shops are within easy reach. Pinellas County is home to the second-largest manufacturing base in the state, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The largest is Miami-Dade.

Largo officials voted unanimously to pay for the city's share of the break in October, but at the time, the company was anonymous, except to Brydon and a few other city staff members. The secrecy was due to confidential information contained in the company's application, including employment budgets and profit margins.

The veil was removed this week, after Micro Star's application was approved by all parties.

The company's parent, privately owned Micro Stamping Corp. of Somerset, N.J., has about 270 employees and estimated annual sales of $60 million, according to business profiling company Hoovers.

Phil Johnson, general manager of Micro Star Innovations, said most of the jobs would be engineering and research and development positions, paying at least $55,953.

Johnson said Micro Star's corporate parent decided to expand the Florida center instead of branches in South Carolina and New Jersey because of the tax incentive, as well as lower labor costs and proximity to other industrial facilities. No job postings have yet been announced.

He said the company deals with dozens of local suppliers, and uses robots to reduce labor costs to stay competitive with foreign suppliers.

"We're hoping the expansion will be relatively quick. It looks pretty aggressive. One or two years," Johnson said. "We're just trying to make it in a rough economy."

Dominick Tao can be reached at dtao@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4154.

Micro Star Innovations gets tax break to bring jobs to Florida 01/05/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 7:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Study: Florida has fourth-most competitive tax code

    Banking

    Florida's tax code is the fourth most competitive in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by nonprofit group Tax Foundation.

    Florida has the fourth-most competitive tax code, a study by the Tax Foundation said. Pictured is  Riley Holmes, III, H&R Block tax specialist, helping a client with their tax return in April. | [SCOTT KEELER, Times]
  2. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]
  3. Clearwater attorney accused of condo foreclosure trickery fights back

    Real Estate

    The Clearwater lawyer accused of tricking a bidder into paying $458,100 for a gulf-front condo now plans to contest a judge's order tossing out the sale.

    John Houde, left, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground, in August during a hearing Sixth Judicial Circuit court Judge Jack St. Arnold at the Pinellas County Courthouse. The judge agreed with Houde's allegation that he was duped by Skelton in thinking he bought a Redington Beach condo for $458,100 out of a foreclosure auction. Now Skelton is fighting back. 
[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. How a group of Florida tomato growers could help derail NAFTA

    Agriculture

    Tony DiMare, a third-generation Florida tomato grower, has spent two decades contending with cheap Mexican imports, watching his neighbors abandon crops in their fields and sell off their farms when they couldn't match the price of incoming produce.

    Workers fill a trailer with tomatoes as they harvest them in the fields of DiMare Farms in Florida City. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images(2013)]
  5. Pinellas deputies go door-to-door at dawn to arrest unlicensed contractors

    Crime

    Pinellas deputies began pounding on doors at 5 a.m. Tuesday, part of a widespread roundup of contractors accused of working without licences and workers compensation.

    Pinellas Sheriff deputies J. Short, left, and T. Festa, right, arrest suspect Randy Ronchi, center, in Largo early Tuesday, as part of a joint roundup of unlicensed contractors. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]