As a part of the General Election on Nov. 6, the ballot will include two questions related to Largo. Voters will elect a new Largo City Commissioner for Seat 4. They'll also be asked to decide whether the city can set up a program that would exempt some new or expanding businesses from paying ad valorem taxes.
Longtime Commissioner Gigi Arntzen is not running for re-election. Seekting to replace her in Seat 4 are Robert Hunsicker and James Robinson. Both candidates answered seven questions posed to them at a breakfast forum in September. The candidates also both provided statements on the city's website.
Voters will also decide if the city can create an ad valorem tax exemption program for new or expanding businesses that create new full-time jobs in Largo.
If the referendum passes and the city commission sets up such a program, more businesses may choose to relocate or expand in Largo, supporters say.
In 2011 the state legislature gave counties and municipalities the authority, with voter approval, to set up ad valorem tax exemptions for new businesses and expansions of existing businesses that create full-time jobs.
If voters say yes to the referendum, then the Largo City Commission would be allowed to set up its own program, based on state guidelines. Voting no means the city could not set up the tax exemption program.
The program would need to follow provisions in the state statute, such as:
- Businesses must create at least 10 jobs (varies by industry)
- Job wages must be above average for the area (currently $40,372 in Pinellas County as of Jan. 1)
- Jobs must be in target industries (including life sciences, financial and professional services, information technology, manufacturing, corporate headquarters, information technology)
More information on the referendum is on Largo's website.
For more voting information, go to the Largo Election Guide on Patch.