Tax Refunds | Economic Development Transportation Fund (Road Fund) | Polk County Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB) | Workforce Training | Incumbent Worker Training | Polk Works Workforce – Business Incentives | Sales Tax Exemptions | Urban Job Tax Credit Program | Foreign Trade Zone – FTZ 79 | Florida Growth Fund

Haines City offers the same incentives as the state of Florida. The Haines City Economic Development Council has a great working relationship with the City of Haines City and Polk County and is able to work with clients on a case-by-case basis. Most of the state’s incentives are awarded to employers based on paying a minimum of 115% of the average annual county wages. The average annual wage for Polk County is $36,597 or $17.59 an hour, so 115% of the average wage would be $42,087 or $20.23 an hour. Incentive levels rise at 150% ($54,896 or $26.39) and 200% ($73,194 or $35.18) of average wages.

Tax Refunds

The Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund

The Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund is a tool available to Florida communities to encourage quality job growth in targeted, high value-added industries. Pre-approved applicants creating jobs in Florida receive refunds on the taxes they pay including corporate income, sales, ad valorem, and certain other taxes.

Eligible applicants pay an average annual wage that is at least 115 percent of the state, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), or the local average wage – a minimum average annual wage of $42,087 for Polk County. The amount of the refunds is equal to $3,000 per new job created. An additional $1,000 “per job” bonus is available for businesses paying 150 percent of the local or statewide average annual wage ($54,896 for Polk County).

In order to participate, the company must apply to Enterprise Florida prior to making a decision to locate in Florida. The community must provide a resolution from the city or county commission recommending the applicant for the incentive and committing to provide a local match equaling 20 percent of the total tax refund. (See attached QTI information sheet). Statutory Reference: Section 288.106, Florida Statutes


Economic Development Transportation Fund (Road Fund)

The Economic Development Transportation Fund (Road Fund) may be used to alleviate transportation impediments that adversely impact a company’s location or expansion decision. Eligible transportation projects may include improvements such as access roads, turn lanes, and signalization.

The funds may be used for design and engineering costs and construction costs of the transportation project. The governmental unit that will own and maintain the transportation improvement submits the application and is reimbursed after commencement of construction of the facility.

Award amount depends on necessary improvements and represents a grant to the government entity responsible for the improvements. (See attached Road Fund document)

Statutory Reference: Section 288.063, Florida Statues


Polk County Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB)

The Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB) are tax free, below-market rate, long term financing of fixed assests for qualified manufacturers and 501C3 non-profits. IRB’s are issued by the Polk County Industrial Development Authority on behalf of private companies to finance land, building and equipment. IRS’s cannot be used for inventory or working capital. Bonds are issued from $1 million to $10 million.


Workforce Training

Quick Response Training (QRT)

Quick Response Training (QRT) is a customer-driven training program designed to respond quickly to meeting business-training objectives. Workforce Florida, Inc., the state’s public-private partnership created to coordinate job-training efforts, administers the program.

Your company would have the ability to select a local training provider – community college, area technical center or university – which will be available to assist in the application process and program development or delivery. Program instructors can be full or part-time educators, vendors, or subject matter experts.

Reimbursable training expenses include:

  • instructors’/trainers’ salaries;
  • curriculum development;
  • textbooks/manuals; and
  • materials and supplies.

Businesses approved for QRT funding are limited to one grant award per site every two years. Approved training costs are disbursed to the training provider monthly, based on a cost reimbursement and performance method of payment. All QRT funds are subject to availability of funding and contingent on training needs. Awards are made on a first come – first serve basis. (See attached QRT information sheet) Statutory Reference: Section 288.047, Florida Statutes


Incumbent Worker Training

Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) provides training to currently employed workers to keep Florida’s workforce competitive in a global economy and to retain existing businesses. The program is available to all Florida businesses that have been in operation for at least one year prior to application and require skills upgrade training for existing employees. All IWT funds are subject to availability of funding and contingent on training needs. Awards are made on a first come – first serve basis. Statutory Reference: Section 445.003, Florida Statutes

(See attached IWT information sheet)


CareerSource Polk – Business Incentives

CareerSource Polk is a nonprofit corporation that oversees workforce development resources for the citizens and business community of Polk County, FL. CareerSource Polk is available to assist companies with their hiring and recruiting needs. Some of the services they offer include: applicant screening, online application process, inputting new hires, administering testing, conducting job fairs, etc.

CareerSource Polk offers a variety of solutions to meet your business needs. Applying for a CareerSource Polk Business Incentives allows you access to thousands of dollars to train your current employees if your application is approved. You choose the training that meets your needs, builds your workforce’s skills and impacts your bottom line since you could receive up to 50% of your direct training costs reimbursed. Apply today, awards go fast!

For more information call Paula Bohnstedt (863) 508-1100 or E-mail


Sales Tax Exemptions

Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment Sales Tax Exemption

Your company many be eligible for a 100 percent exemption of the sales and use tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment. In order to qualify for the new business exemption, the machinery and equipment must have been purchased, or a purchase agreement made, prior to the date the business first begins to produce a product for inventory or immediate sale. If a purchase agreement was made prior to the beginning of production, such machinery and equipment must be received within twelve months of the date that production began.

Industrial machinery and equipment is exempt from tax when purchased by an expanding business for the purpose of increasing “productive output” by not less than ten percent. Statutory Reference: Section 212.08, Florida Statutes

Machinery and Equipment Used for Research and Development

Machinery and equipment, including but not limited to molds, dies, machine tooling, other appurtenances or accessories to machinery and equipment, testing and measuring equipment, test beds, computers and software, whether purchased or self-fabricated, includes materials and labor for design, fabrication and assembly, used predominantly for research and development and used to meet a qualifying research and development goal are exempt from sales and use tax. Statutory Reference: Section 212.08 (18), Florida Statutes

Pollution Control Equipment Sales Tax Exemption

The sales tax levied on pollution control equipment shall be exempted for any facility, device, fixture, equipment, machinery, specialty chemical, or bioaugmentation product used primarily for the control or abatement of pollution or contaminants in manufacturing, processing, compounding, or producing for sale items of tangible personal property at a fixed location, or any structure, machinery, or equipment installed in the reconstruction or replacement of such facility, device, fixture, equipment, or machinery. Statutory Reference: Section 212.051, Florida Statutes

Electricity Tax Exemption

The Electricity Tax Exemption is applied to 100 percent of the electricity purchased if 75 percent or more is used to operate machinery and equipment at a fixed location to manufacture, process, compound, produce, or prepare for shipment items of tangible personal property for sale, or to operate pollution control equipment, recycling equipment, maintenance equipment, or monitoring or control equipment used in such operations. The exemption is applied to 50 percent of the electricity or steam purchased if 50 to 75 percent is used in manufacturing. No separate metering is required. For more information on sales tax exemption on Lakeland utilities, please contact Ron Pierce, Lakeland Electric, 863/834-1239. Statutory Reference: Section 212.08, Florida Statutes

Boiler Fuels Tax Exemption

When purchased for use as a combustible fuel, purchases of natural gas, residual oil, recycled oil, waste oil, solid waste material, coal, sulfur, wood, wood residues or wood bark used in an industrial manufacturing, processing, compounding, or production process at a fixed location in this state are exempt from the taxes imposed by this chapter; however, such exemption shall not be allowed unless the purchaser signs a certificate stating that the fuel to be exempted is for the exclusive use designated herein. This exemption does not apply to use of boiler fuels that are not used in manufacturing, processing, compounding, or producing items of tangible personal property for sale, or to the use of boiler fuels used by any firm subject to regulation by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants or the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Propane is not a tax-exempt boiler fuel. Statutory Reference: Section 212.08, Florida Statutes

Repair and Labor Charges Sale Tax Exemption

The Repair and Labor Charges Tax Exemption fully exempts sales tax on labor charges for the repair of, and parts and materials used in the repair of and incorporated into, industrial machinery and equipment which is used for the manufacture, processing, compounding, production, or preparation for shipping of items of tangible personal property at a fixed location within Florida. Statutory Reference: Section 212.08, Florida Statutes

Polk County Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program

The Polk County Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption (“Exemption”) is an exemption of taxes to encourage quality job growth in targeted high value added businesses. The exemption was implemented to support economic growth and enhance the county’s ability to be competitive. The Exemption was designed to encourage new business development and retain local business with planned expansions.

For more information please click on the above Program Guidelines or contact us at 863-687-3788.


Urban Job Tax Credit Program

The Urban Job Tax Credit is an incentive for eligible businesses located in a designated urban area to create new jobs. The credit is $500 per qualified job and can be taken against either the Florida Corporate Income Tax or the Florida Sales and Use Tax.


Foreign Trade Zone – FTZ 79

The Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) was created to enhance U.S. production and job opportunities by allowing companies to defer, reduce and/or eliminate payment of U.S. Customs duties depending on the range of activities to be conducted in the zone, simplify and reduce the cost of formal Customs entry procedures, an expedite the movement of goods to and from zone sites. Additional benefits may apply to goods subject to federal excise tax and imported production equipment for use in the zone. Lakeland/Polk companies are in the service area of FTZ 79. Qualified companies can obtain FTZ designation by applying to the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board for usage driven site designation. The Grantee of FTZ 79 is the City of Tampa.


Florida Growth Fund

The Florida Growth Fund manages $250 million of capital dedicated to prudent investments in technology and growth related businesses with significant presence in the state of Florida. As part of the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan Trust Fund, the Florida Growth Fund will seek to enhance Florida’s capacity for development, growth and innovation. The Florida Growth Fund is managed by Hamilton Lane, a leading global private equity asset management firm.

On behalf of the Florida State Board of Administration, Hamilton Lane actively pursues investment opportunities for the Florida Growth Fund. Our experienced investment professionals guide these opportunities through our rigorous due diligence process through one of two structures: private equity fund investments or directly into companies through co-investments with other institutional investors.

Fund Partnership Opportunities

The Florida Growth Fund will seek to make meaningful commitments to top tier private equity partnerships identified through Hamilton Lane’s due diligence process. Specifically we look for:Venture Capital, Growth Equity and Small to Mid-Sized Buyouts; Technology, Aerospace, Renewable Energy, Medical and Life Sciences;Businesses domiciled in Florida; Businesses that have demonstrable, material Florida operational presence; and Differentiated return streams and attractive performance track record.

Co-Investment Opportunities

The co-investment portion of the Florida Growth Fund will make investments alongside private equity partnerships based or operating in the State of Florida. Hamilton Lane’s dedicated co-investment team rigorously reviews each opportunity.Specifically we look for: A company headquartered in, or conducting a significant portion of its business in Florida; Profitable companies;Experienced management teams; and Attractive growth trends.

Contact Information: Hamilton Lane would be pleased to hear from you regarding opportunities meeting the mandate of the Florida Growth Fund. Questions regarding this investment program may be directed to the Florida Growth Fund Team at Hamilton Lane:

Hamilton Lane Advisors, LLC
Florida Growth Fund Team
One Presidential Blvd, 4th Floor
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
610-934-2222 (Phone)
610-617-9853 (Fax)