An expanding Hillsborough company wants to move to Largo, and add 55 well-paying jobs in the city. Its business is pharmaceuticals, research and development, to be exact. The average wage of its employees is about $57,000.
The catch: It's asking for a $220,000 tax break split between the state, city and county, and its identity is secret from the public during its bid to win the tax incentive.
Largo commissioners, whose city would be on the hook for about $22,000 of the state-backed qualified target industry tax credit, mostly embraced the possibility.
"I think it's a great deal," said Mayor Patricia Gerard. "Whatever we can do to create jobs for our citizens, we ought to do."
But Commissioner Mary Gray Black said, "I just don't see that the city has the money to give right now."
The city estimates $31,000 could be earned in property taxes in one year after the company moves in.
An official vote to release the necessary funding will be scheduled in coming weeks.
City commissioners also voted to allow Dalal Mansour, owner of the Bookmark Cafe in the library, to continue operating month-to-month without paying rent.
Mansour was denied renewal of her five-year operating agreement this spring. The city is searching for a new vendor, but a majority of commissioners didn't want the cafe to be vacant in the meantime.