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Tampa council wants review of process for okaying subsidy to PricewaterhouseCoopers

TAMPA — Tampa City Council members called Thursday for staff to investigate the process used to award $550,000 in incentives to PricewaterhouseCoopers, but stopped short of a revote.

Councilwoman Mary Mulhern initially was going to request that council members reconsider their unanimous decision to award the incentives that, along with county and state funds, provided $2 million in subsidies for the financial services company.

This month, county commissioners and council members approved giving PricewaterhouseCoopers subsidies to keep 1,633 jobs in town.

But in a conversation with Senior Assistant City Attorney Julia Mandell-Cole, Mulhern decided it wasn't a good idea for the council to revisit the matter now that previously confidential information, like the name of the company receiving the incentives, is public. Instead, the council will focus on the process used to brief them on incentives and whether more transparency is needed.

After the incentives were approved, an executive for PricewaterhouseCoopers told the St. Petersburg Times the firm had never intended to move its current workforce out of the area.

Council members want to pinpoint how they were led to thinking that if they didn't approve the subsidies, 1,633 PricewaterhouseCoopers jobs were at risk.

Last week's council vote approved only the incentive plan. To execute the deal, the council will have to approve a contract.

Mulhern said if a contract is submitted for approval, it would allow the council to review the agreement and possibly decide against honoring it.

Tia Mitchell can be reached at tmitchell@sptimes.com.

Tampa council wants review of process for okaying subsidy to PricewaterhouseCoopers 07/28/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 28, 2011 9:59pm]
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