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St. Petersburg trying to lure unnamed global firm with tax incentives

ST. PETERSBURG — A worldwide "business process outsourcing and product support" company is considering moving its international headquarters to the city, making it eligible for almost $1.4 million in state and local incentives.

The company's identity is being kept secret, but the deal came to light because the St. Petersburg City Council will be asked next week to commit $182,500 to the incentive package.

The city is in competition with places in North Carolina, New Jersey, Texas and Georgia for the company's business. The business is referred to as only "Project B4030352160" on the council's June 5 agenda. It promises to bring 65 new high-wage jobs.

Administration officials are recommending the council approve the city's $182,500 share. The rest would come from the Governor's Quick Action Closing Fund and the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund.

The first program is aimed at defraying relocation costs for companies that can demonstrate the incentive is needed to close the gap from other states competing for the same business.

The second is a tax refund for businesses that create new high-paying jobs.

Both programs require local governments to provide matching funds.

As part of the deal, Pinellas County would be chipping in the same amount as the city. The state would offer $1 million.

City documents offered a few clues about the company, and it does not appear to be Jabil, a prominent St. Petersburg corporation known to be looking at a possible downtown relocation.

In city documents, the company would move its global headquarters here, but also "retain 202 high-wage jobs" already in St. Petersburg.

The project is eligible to receive the largest per-job tax refund of $10,000 — given to companies that create jobs that pay 200 percent of the county wage, are in a "high impact" sector and will be located in an enterprise zone. Because of the other incentive, though, the project would receive only $5,000 per job created.

Those new jobs are expected to pay $84,829 with a $28,000 benefit package. The company also plans to invest more than $2.1 million in construction and equipment.

Kameel Stanley can be reached at kstanley@tampabay.com, (727) 893-8643 or on Twitter @cornandpotatoes.

St. Petersburg trying to lure unnamed global firm with tax incentives 05/27/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 10:54pm]

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