Questions on the Ballot

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Below you can find resolutions and ordinances that will be on the ballot for the 2022 Elections. If you are interested in finding out more about Largo's elections, contact the City Clerk's Office at 727-587-6710 or [email protected].

Lease Terms for Horizon West Bay (Downtown City Hall)

What is the ballot language?
Exemption of "Horizon West Bay" Property from Referendum for Lease of City Owned Real Property
Shall the Largo City Charter be amended to exempt that certain real property known as “Horizon West Bay,” located on the northern 400 block of West Bay Drive, from the existing referendum requirement for leasing real property owned by the city so long as the Horizon West Bay property is also used as the primary municipal services and administrative facilities of the city, all as described in Ordinance No. 2022-57?

YES (For the amendment)
NO (Against the amendment)
What does that mean?
On July 19, 2022, the Largo City Commission voted to include on the November 2022 ballot a proposed amendment to the City Charter. If approved, this amendment will exclude the Horizon West Bay location (the new multi-purpose Downtown City Hall) from the requirement of a referendum to lease any city-owned property for more than five years. This exemption will only be for the Horizon West Bay project on the 400-500 block of West Bay Drive. The exemption will allow for the City to work with a professional leasing agent on lease terms for preferred downtown businesses.
Why now?
The City's vision is to welcome coffee shops, restaurants, and other retailers to achieve the community's vision of an active and interconnected Downtown. The Horizon West Bay project is intended to spark economic development in Downtown Largo. The project's design includes leasable retail space for interested businesses to build out storefronts. Currently, the City can only lease space for up to five years without referendum approval.
What will change if passed?
The Horizon West Bay location will be the only exception to the City Charter that limits the City to five-year lease terms. The City will work with a professional leasing agent to identify business leases that fit the current market's demand and the City’s goals and objectives for Downtown. If passed this will not change the current City Charter limitation on any other city-owned property or greenspace.
What happens if it does not pass?
The City's Charter will remain without the proposed exemption. This will limit the City's ability to lease the commercial spaces in the mixed-use Horizon West Bay project for five years or less. The project may need to be redesigned at additional costs to the City. If limited to the five-year lease terms, potential businesses may not be willing to commit to shorter-term leases.
Where to get additional project information?
View Official Ordinance No. 2022-57

Extension of the Property Tax Exemptions for Businesses

What is the ballot language?
Providing City Commission with the Authority to Grant Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemptions
Shall the City Commission of the City of Largo be authorized to grant, pursuant to s.3, Art. VII of the State Constitution, property tax exemptions to new businesses and expansions of existing businesses that are expected to create new, full-time jobs in the City of Largo?

YES (For authority to grant exemptions)
NO (Against authority to grant exemptions)
What does that mean?
On July 19, 2022, the Largo City Commission voted to include on the November 2022 ballot a resolution that extends the City Commission's authority to consider temporary property tax exemptions to qualified new and expanding businesses. This is intended to encourage job growth and further investment in the City of Largo. Qualifying businesses are expected to create new, full-time jobs in the City. This resolution would authorize an extension of the prior referendum approved by voters in 2012 for another ten years.
Why now?
Largo voters approved the City Commission's ability to allow for this property tax exemption in 2012 for a period of ten years. The City Commission's authority to grant these property tax exemptions is set to expire on November 11, 2022, but it may be renewed for a subsequent ten-year period if voters approve this November. The City of Largo remains committed to supporting business retention, recruitment, and expansion. This will work to support the economic sustainability of activity centers, the development of a quality workforce, availability of wages in Largo that pay more than the average annual wage for Pinellas County, and collaboration between public and private sectors to support a high-quality life for all residents. 
What does a business need to do to qualify for the property tax exemption?
  • Meet the definition of a new business or expansion of an existing business
  • The business must be classified as a target industry such as Aviation & Aerospace, Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Information Technology, Financial/Professional Services, Homeland Security/Defense, Corporate Headquarters, or a high-value business that has a significant economic impact
  • Make a formal application to the City for the exemption; the application is reviewed by the City's trained Economic Development professionals and brought forward to the City Commission for review and approval 
  • Invest a significant amount of capital in expanding or building new space
  • Commit to creating a minimum number of jobs during the first five years of the exemption
  • Pay an annual wage for all jobs exceeding the average annual wage for Pinellas County
  • Continue to occupy the space identified in the application for the duration of the tax exemption
What will change if passed?
There will be no change in authority from the last ten years. The City Commission can continue in its authority to temporarily waive the property tax fee for new or expanding businesses on a case-by-case basis. Following approval by the voters, the City Commission can approve ordinances with the program parameters that outline the process and procedures for granting the tax exemption, including a formal application process for interested businesses. This is a temporary exemption of property taxes for qualified businesses, not an exemption of all taxes businesses are required to pay. Businesses approved for the exemption are expected to create an overall positive economic impact to Largo and Pinellas County far above the value of the tax exemption. If a business does not comply with the program requirements, the City can revoke the exemption and the business can be required to repay the property tax, with interest.
What happens if it does not pass?
The City Commission's authority to grant temporary property tax exemptions for qualifying businesses will expire on November 11, 2022. City of Largo team members could no longer bring to City Commission proposed tax exemptions that may incentivize a business to locate, relocate, or expand in the City. Many of the surrounding communities including Pinellas County, Clearwater, Tampa, Hillsborough County, Sarasota, and Sarasota County have implemented property tax exemption programs potentially placing the City of Largo at a competitive disadvantage in the recruitment of new business and the retention of existing and expanding businesses.
Are there any examples of businesses that have received tax exemptions?
TD SYNNEX (formerly Tech Data Corporation) is the only business that has received the exemption during the past ten-year period. The City provided $101,768.96 in tax exemptions since executing the incentive agreement in 2015. During the past six years, TD SYNNEX has invested approximately eight million dollars in expanding the Largo Campus and hired an additional 276 full-time employees with salaries significantly exceeding the Pinellas County average annual wage.
View Official Resolution  No. 2317

Sale of City Property to Porter Development LLC

What is the ballot language?
Conveyance of City-Owned Real Property to Porter Development, LLC

Shall the City be authorized to convey fee simple title to approximately 87 acres of city-owned property located north of 8th Avenue SE and south of East Bay Drive, a portion of which includes a landfill, for fair market value to Porter Development, LLC for the development, operation, and maintenance of a privately owned and operated open space recreational indoor and outdoor sports complex, all as described in Ordinance No. 2022-58?

YES (For the conveyance)
NO (Against the conveyance)

What does that mean?
On July 19, 2022 the Largo City Commission voted to include on the November 2022 ballot a referendum to approve the potential sale of approximately 87 acres of property owned by the City of Largo to a private developer, Porter Development LLC, for fair market value. The property is located north of 8th Avenue SE and south of East Bay Drive, part of the land is a former landfill located behind the Largo Public Library.  The City Charter requires voters to approve the sale of all City-owned property exceeding 1.5 acres for fair market value for the purposes stated. 

This is not the approval of the development or project design, but rather an approval for the City to sell the property to Porter Development for fair market value for the purposes stated. The City will not be providing information about the proposed project by the private developer. Residents that would like to learn more about project plans can find information on the Porter Development website. 
Why now?
The City of Largo received an unsolicited proposal from Porter Development LLC. Porter Development LLC submitted the proposal for the stated purpose of developing and operating a privately owned and operated recreation facility.
What will change if passed?
The City may sell the property to Porter Development LLC for fair market value for the purposes stated. The redevelopment of the site would remain subject to the City’s Development Review process. The proposed complex is not a city project and will not be owned, managed, or operated by the City of Largo's Recreation, Parks, and Arts services. Details about the operations of the proposed project should be obtained from Porter Development LLC.
What happens if it does not pass?
The property will remain owned and maintained by the City of Largo. Porter Development is the only possible purchaser being considered by the voters on the November 2022 ballot. Any new proposals to develop the property that would require a lease or sale of the property will also require voter approval during a future election.
View Official Ordinance No. 2022-58

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