Bob Buckhorn wasted no time voicing his support in December 2010 when then-Mayor Pam Iorio"s administration proposed asking voters to consider offering property tax breaks to new or expanded businesses.
Buckhorn backed the referendum, and he made his commitment to the program a plank written into his campaign website:
Bob's administration will propose an economic development package that will offer targeted high-technology industries a reduction in property tax based on the number and types of jobs they create. This incentive is targeted to the industries identified by the (Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp.) as value-added and in which Hillsborough already has a strategic advantage. Bob has proposed that this economic development package be placed on the election ballot in the spring of 2011. Targeted industries will include:
• Life sciences and medical service,
• Financial service,
• Cyber security, defense, and national security,
• Information technology,
• Research and engineering.
On March 1, Tampa voters approved the proposal 67 to 33 percent. On May 5, City Council members passed the ordinance that established the rules and procedures for the program, which is now open for business.
Buckhorn said he supported this proposal, which was actually initiated by his predecessor, from the start. After he got in office, his administration implemented the program approved by the voters. Promise Kept.