Friday, April 20, 2018
Business

Port Tampa Bay sets record with $55.4 million in operating revenue in 2017

TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay posted its biggest operating revenues ever this year — $55.4 million — beating its previous record from two years ago.

The total reflects revenue solely generated by port operations, not property tax revenue or grants, officials said.

The increase for the 2017 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, was driven by growth in cruise ship business, where the number of cruises sailing out of Port Tampa Bay rose 26 percent, but also in other areas.

"Basically in pretty much all of our lines of business, we've seen increases in revenue in 2017," port chief financial officer Mike Macaluso said Monday.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Port Tampa Bay finds niche in growing cruise industry

In 2017, the port handled nearly 15 million tons of commodities like petroleum, cement, phosphate, steel and aggregate materials such as limestone — a 6 percent increase over 2016. And the port signed new or expanded leases, including one for the Port Logistics cold storage facility scheduled to open later this month.

The port teamed up with Tampa real estate developer Richard Corbett to finance the construction of the 130,000-square-foot facility. Port Logistics of Orlando has a 27-year lease to manage the facility, which will receive, label, package and distribute refrigerated foods. Officials hope the new on-dock facility will bring in new business by offering a port three days closer to shippers than Philadelphia, which has the most cold storage food facilities on the East Coast.

Operating revenues rose 12.6 percent from last year's $49.2 million. The old record was $51.3 million in 2015.

"I am thrilled that the port is shattering revenue records," Port Tampa Bay board chairman Steve Swindal said in a statement released with the 2017 numbers.

Swindal credited port president Paul Anderson and his team for overall operating revenue increases of nearly 27 percent since Anderson became the port's CEO in 2013.

Meanwhile, the port has lowered its property tax rate by more than 31 percent. That reduction reflects a goal to grow self-generated operating revenues enough that the port eventually levies a property tax rate of zero and uses no county taxpayer money at all.

In August, the port said it was using about $11 million in taxpayer money exclusively for infrastructure projects. The port's current property tax rate means the owner of a home assessed at $200,000 will pay less than $20 in port-related taxes in 2018. Officials project the port is on a pace to be off Hillsborough County's tax rolls within a decade.

Contact Richard Danielson at [email protected] or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times

Comments
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

For the sixth month running, Florida’s unemployment rate held at a nearly 11-year low of 3.9 percent in March as steady job gains continued. While many factors kept Florida’s economy chugging along, three industries stand out for leading year-over-ye...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Published: 04/20/18
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. In preliminary findings of ...
Published: 04/20/18
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Published: 04/20/18
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18
St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

ST. PETERSBURG — Beef jerky, mayonnaise and Altoids mints were the only edible things in view inside one of the houses. There was no running water. The refrigerator was empty. A bed sat on top of the deteriorating living room floor. Cigarette butts b...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Here’s your first look at what will be Riverwalk Place, Tampa’s tallest tower

Here’s your first look at what will be Riverwalk Place, Tampa’s tallest tower

TAMPA — Developers on Thursday detailed plans for what they touted as the tallest building on Florida’s west coast, with condominiums priced in six and seven figures and a shimmering glass design they say would stand out in the skylines of New York, ...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18