Seven community business organizations — citing the need to compete for new, high-wage jobs in Okaloosa County — are supporting approval of an economic development tax exemption program.
The Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption program, a state-authorized incentive, allows local governments to grant qualifying new and existing businesses creating new jobs a temporary property tax exemption of up to 100 percent for up to 10 years.
The Building Industry Association of Okaloosa and Walton Counties, the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County, the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce, the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce have each endorsed the incentive program.
The program has to be approved by voters every 10 years; the measure will be placed on the ballot of the Okaloosa County primary election Aug. 26. Okaloosa County’s tax exemption program expired March 9.