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Beautiful, year-round weather, a relaxed pace of life, skilled workforce and unmatched connectivity are all reasons that people love building their businesses and their lives in the middle of the Sunshine State. In addition to its unbeatable lifestyle, the region also boasts a pro-business tax climate and offers a host of incentives on the local, regional and state levels to help businesses flourish in Central Florida’s Polk County. Take a look at some of our most popular programs below. To learn more and or see if your business qualifies, please contact Jennifer Taylor, Vice President Business Development, at (863) 937-4430, ext. 105 or email

Low Tax Environment:

Businesses who locate in Central Florida enjoy one of the best tax climates in the nation. With a low corporate tax rate of 5.5%, general use sales tax of 7% and no personal income tax, your dollar goes further in the Sunshine State.

Local Incentive Programs:

Polk County Business Incentive (PCBI)

In an effort to establish a competitive posture both statewide and nationally, Polk County offers the PCBI grant to qualified applicants. It is a cash grant that pays between $1,000 and $5,000 per new job created based on the average annual wage of the new jobs. The company must be within a qualified target industry and meet the eligibility requirements.

Ad Valorem Tax Exemption (AVTE)

The exemption was implemented to support economic growth and enhance the county’s ability to be competitive. To be eligible, a company must be a qualified target industry, create a minimum of 10 new jobs and meet the programs wage requirement. Projects must invest a combined minimum of $5 million in building and equipment (real and tangible property). The exemption must be approved by the Board of County Commissioners before any improvements to real property are made.

Impact Fee Mitigation

For new construction, a portion of the total impact fees are mitigated. The mitigated amount depends on number of new jobs created (must be at least 10), average annual wage of new jobs and total capital investment. Must be considered a qualified target industry and meet program eligibility.

Regional Incentive Programs:

Duke Energy Economic Development Rider

Reduction of base rate demand and energy charges for companies that add 25 net new jobs and have an electrical demand of 500 kWh of which a minimum load factor of 50% must originate from a single point of delivery. Capex must exceed $500,000.

TECO Energy Economic Development Rider Program

Reduction of base rate demand and energy charges for companies that add 25 full-time equivalent new jobs and have an electrical demand of 350 kWh from a single meter.

Florida Public Utilities Natural Gas Commercial Rebate

Rebates are available for new natural gas commercial appliances. Amounts vary by rebate category and customer class.

Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ 79)

International business can take advantage of added import flexibility on products for re-export and enjoy cash flow benefits and substantial savings on import fees.

State Incentive Programs:

Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund

The Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund incentive is available to companies that create high wage jobs in targeted industries. If your business qualifies, you will receive a tax refund against corporate, sales, ad valorem, intangible personal property, insurance premiums and other taxes. Pre-approved companies who create jobs in Florida will receive $3,000 for every full-time job created with higher awards available for companies paying very high wages, operating within a designated high impact sector, or meeting other specific criteria.

Quick Response Training (QRT) Grant

The QRT Grant is available to new or expanding businesses to help fund customized training for new employees. Reimbursable training expenses include: instructors’/trainers’ wages, curriculum development, and textbooks/manuals. Because this program is customized, flexible, and responsive to individual company needs, funds are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Economic Development Transportation Fund (EDTF)

Perhaps better known as the “Road Fund,” the Economic Development Transportation Fund is an incentive tool created to help mitigate transportation problems that adversely impact a specific company’s location or expansion decision. Local governments may receive up to $3,000,000 dollars to implement improvements like road widening, rail spur extensions and building access roads. The actual funded amount is based on necessary cost and limited to $7,000 per job, although this limit may be waived for areas experiencing severe economic distress.

High Impact Performance Incentive Grant (HIPI)

The High Impact Performance Incentive is a negotiated grant available to companies with a headquarters relocation project or those operating in a high-impact sector of one of Florida’s key industries, including clean energy, financial services, life sciences, semiconductors and transportation equipment manufacturing. In order to qualify, businesses must create 50 new full-time jobs (25 for Research & Development facilities) and make a cumulative investment of $50 million ($25 million if R&D) during a three-year period. If approved, 50 percent of the award is distributed at the beginning, followed by 50 percent once employment and investment goals are met.

Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC)

Up to 20 years in corporate tax credits are available to companies with a headquarters relocation project or operating in the clean energy, financial services, life sciences, semiconductors or transportation equipment manufacturing sectors. In order to qualify, businesses must create 100 new full-time jobs in three years and make a total investment of a minimum of $25 million.

*All incentives require a completed application and must be approved by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners before a building is purchased, lease is signed or announcement is made. These incentives are considered “but for” – meaning that but for the fact that these incentives were made available, the applicant company would be locating elsewhere. **Disclaimer: The CFDC and its partners have provided the above incentive information for companies interested in doing business in Central Florida.  However, under no circumstances, are these incentives guaranteed.  A business must meet the required qualifications to be eligible for incentives.  If you would like to know if your business qualifies, please call 863-937-4430.

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