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County Commission Kills Proposed Annual Tax on Manatee Businesses


In a surprise move during the Manatee County Commission meeting on April 27, 2010, Commissioner Ron Getman suggested tabling the temporarily-tabled county business tax proposal "indefinitely." After a short discussion and a rewording suggested by County Attorney Tedd Williams, Getman's motion passed 7 - 0.

The idea of a $35 per year tax on all businesses in Manatee County, with revenue from that tax used to fund the Manatee Chamber of Commerce's Economic Development Council (EDC), was first voted on (and tabled) during the commission's March 16 meeting

A decision on the wisdom of instituting this tax was put off for the next year during the commission's March 30 meeting, when Commissioner Gwen Brown suggested simply appropriating $400,000 -- the amount the tax was supposed to raise each year -- to help the EDC's efforts to bring lure businesses to Manatee County.

Brown's motion passed, but it was admittedly a stopgap measure, with the tax to be revisited in the future, while Getman's April 27 motion was a permanent kiss of death for a county business tax.  

Getman first proposed not only killing the tax, but working with the county's various Chambers of Commerce and other business associations to set up some sort of committee that would develop other ways of supporting the EDC.

Attorney Williams noted that if the commissioners got involved with selecting committee members, that committee would probably be subject to Florida's Sunshine Laws, so it would be simpler if the commission simply voted to kill the tax and let the business groups figure out "non-tax" ways to fund the EDC on their own.  


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