AUGUST 17, 2011 BY GTR ADMIN
The North Brevard Economic Development Zone
The establishment of an Economic Development Zone with tax increment funding will allow the North Brevard area to formulate and focus on a strategy for economic development and job creation that is desperately needed in the wake of Space Center layoffs. The tax increment revenues generated by the establishment of the Economic Zone would be administered by a dependent special district focusing on North Brevard and the Titusville community. Effective economic development incentives and community redevelopment requires the establishment of dedicated funding mechanisms. Our competitors do this and are succeeding!
Led by its Chairman, Commissioner Robin Fisher, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution creating the North Brevard Economic Development Zone on July 12, 2011. Commissioner Mary Bolin and Commissioner Chuck Nelson joined Commissioner Fisher in supporting the creation of the Zone.
Why does North Brevard need an Economic Development Zone?
- Due to the end of the Shuttle Program, the highest percentage of job losses have occurred in North Brevard at the same time that the entire county is experiencing a high unemployment rate
- Brevard's current unemployment rate is 11.1% and additional Space Center layoffs are pending.
- The highest percentage of workers laid off from the Shuttle program are residents of North Brevard
- The projected layoffs in North Brevard equal a loss of $100 million in annual income
- With each job lost at KSC, the ripple effect into the community is an additional 1.8 jobs
- More than 50 percent of the land in North Brevard is exempt from property taxes
- Key commercial areas exempt
- 20% of Brevard County's population lives in Greater Titusville but we only have 1/10th of Brevard County's Taxable Value
What contributing factors have caused North Brevard to lag behind in growth?
- Over 50% of the land base is tax exempt and represents key commercial areas
- With 20% of the county's population, the existing land base value represents only 1/10 ($3 billion) of the value of the county's tax base
What can the Economic Development Zone do for North Brevard?
- The District's Board will administer the funds within the district (similar to the existing 19 CRAs throughout the county)
- Funds would enable North Brevard to offer competitive incentives to businesses seeking to re-locate, a strategy used successfully by our competitors.
- The District Board will develop and bring an Economic Development Plan to the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners
What does the North Brevard Enterprise Zone look like?
- The zone has stripped out all residential and agricultural uses
- Only commercial and industrial use codes are affected
- The 2 CRAs with the Titusville city limits are excluded
- The city limits of Cocoa are excluded
- It does not include the entire District 1 Commission district only to SR 528
Fact versus Fiction
Fiction: "The County Chairman wants to turn his entire District One into an Economic Zone."
Fact: The two Community Redevelopment Districts within the City of Titusville are excluded, the City of Cocoa is excluded and the land south of SR528 is excluded.
Fiction: This proposal is "going to funnel much of the County's tax money to that area."
Fact: Not one penny of the $200 million that the County currently collects in property taxes will be redistributed to the Economic Zone. This proposal would only utilize funds from new construction generated within the Economic Zone.
Fiction: "People on the southern part of Brevard County will pay a lot more taxes for people on the northern part."
Fact: Only Economic Zone taxpayers fund the economic incentives. No taxpayer living in Central or South County is required to pay additional taxes to this Economic Zone.
Fiction: "If north Brevard became an economic zone and Port St. John library decided it needed more librarians, the money to hire them wouldn't necessarily come from North Brevard County, it would come from their southern neighbors."
Fact: This proposal only applies to new construction tax value within the district as derived from the general fund tax rate. As approved by the voters and as a matter of law, dollars generated through the general fund tax rate cannot be transferred to the library department. The library department has a specific tax that, by law, cannot provide funds to these types of districts.
Fiction: "That would leave all of south Brevard County paying a disproportionate share for deputies, firefighters, and the jail."
Fact: Only district taxpayers fund the activities of the Economic Zone. No taxpayer living in Central or South County will be asked or is required to pay additional taxes for the Economic Zone. Road Deputies are funded through a specific law enforcement tax, which is not affected by this proposal. Firefighters are funded through a specific fire tax and other sources, which are not affected by this proposal.