Bonds To Boost Pinellas Development

A new tax-exempt bonds program in Pinellas County will help businesses who need expansion capital there.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created a new category of Recovery Zone Facility Bonds to support local economic development and recovery initiatives.

On Dec. 1, the Pinellas County Commission designated the entire county a recovery zone. That allowed Pinellas to offer tax-exempt bond financing to qualified companies who want to relocate or expand there.

Companies can use the bonds for land, equipment and construction of facilities, such as office buildings, says Cindy Margiotta, spokeswoman for Pinellas County's economic development office.

Besides Pinellas' allocation of more than $20 million, the city of St. Petersburg received $9.3 million and the city of Clearwater received more than $4 million through the program. This means companies can apply for tax-exempt money for expansion in Pinellas.

According to the guidelines of the program, the bonds must be issued by Jan. 1, 2011. Companies applying must get a bank or other financial institution to buy or provide credit support for the bonds.

The bonds will be issued through the Pinellas County Economic Development Authority and will adhere to U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Sevice guidelines.

Interested companies should e-mail Margiotta or call her at (727) 464-7398.

Writer: Dave Szymanski
Source: Cindy Margiotta, Pinellas County Economic Development

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