Martin County Business Tax Abatement Measure (August 2010)
This measure was approved
- YES 12,400 (51.45%)
- NO 11,705 (48.55%)
This measure sought to allow the county to grant property tax exemptions for up to ten years for new businesses or those expanding in the county in order to encourage job growth. Opponents to the measure pointed out that there were flaws in the proposed measure, new businesses are not required to hire county residents nor are they required to pay back lost taxes if they fail to promote growth as they intended. They also noted that businesses already in the county should be helped as well to better promote growth.
A lawsuit was brought forth against this measure, noting that the measure language was unclear and misleading to voters. In 2011, the Martin County Circuit Court ruled against the lawsuit but the advocate had tried again in a higher court. Last week, Florida's 4th District Court of Appeal confirmed the first court's ruling and dismissed the lawsuit a second time. The court ruled that the ballot language did inform the voters about the measure and does not commit fraud. County officials noted that they were glad with the results, though it was also noted tht no tax abatement has been given as no new business has applied for the tax credit.
- TC Palm, "Voters didn't understand tax abatement referendum? Expect more of same if Amendment 4 passes," September 5, 2010
- Martin County Elections, August Election Results Summary
- Martin County Elections, August Sample Ballot
- TC Palm News, "Letter: Martin County tax abatement ballot item is about corporate welfare," July 22, 2010
- 'TC Palm News, "Appeals court upholds Martin tax exemption for companies who relocate or expand," April 19, 2012