City offers 75% five-year tax break for auto parts company relocation to Palm Coast

A classic car parts company is moving from Connecticut to the Palm Coast, and the city is offering to offer up to $ 60,000 in tax breaks as an incentive.

The company, called Ground Up, was formed in New York City, first selling auto parts that were hard to find at meetings, then moved to Connecticut, where it has now outgrown its 40,000 square foot facility. . Ground Up wants to move to Palm Coast and open a 70,000 square foot facility here, hiring 30 to 40 workers when it opens.

“It’s a low impact business for us, and it would create significant jobs.”

– JASON DeLORENZO, Director of Development for Palm Coast

“Ground Up is truly an American achievement,” Jason DeLorenzo, director of development for Palm Coast, told Palm Coast city council members at a council meeting on Oct. 12. “It’s an e-commerce company and it distributes GM muscle car parts. … What they’re going to do is run their operations here… and then the call center will move here as well, and then they will shut down their operations in Connecticut.

He added, “This is a low impact business for us and it would create significant jobs. “

The company, founded in 1990, has grown by more than 10% each year for the past two years, DeLorenzo said.

“I think every time we create jobs and economic opportunities in our city, it is a success.”

– NICK KLUFAS, municipal councilor

City staff have been in talks with the company since January, when its executives approached the city to buy property at 2 Commerce Boulevard that once housed Palm Coast Data and, before that, the old Palm Coast Town Hall. .

Ground Up has since invested $ 4 million in the purchase and renovation of this property and has asked city staff if the city has any economic incentive programs for businesses.

So, to support the company’s decision to relocate to Palm Coast, city staff proposed using a grant structure known as the “Enhanced Recovery Grant” which would give the company a higher level of recovery. overall reduction in property tax equivalent to up to 75% of one’s property. tax rates for its first five years as long as it meets certain criteria, including creating and maintaining at least 25 jobs and staying in Palm Coast.

The municipal portion of the company’s ad valorem property taxes in 2021 would be $ 12,912.

The company wouldn’t receive the money up front: instead, it would pay its property taxes normally for one year, then be reimbursed the following year. There would be restrictions on how the grant money could be used.

“They can only use the grant for expenses designed to be recovered from the community,” DeLorenzo said.

It could be reinvested in the company’s facilities in Palm Coast, used to host an auto show, used to sponsor or participate in urban events, used to promote road safety programs, or used to sponsor technical education programs. or STEM in local schools.

Ground Up is currently recruiting and plans to go operational in November or December, DeLorenzo said.

City council members were in favor of using the incentive program.

“How do we advertise the fact that we have these people coming and we want more? Asked Mayor David Alfin.

City Councilor Nick Klufas also backed the proposal and said he preferred the value-enhanced salvage grant to incentive programs that simply provide businesses with money to relocate.

“I think every time we create jobs and economic opportunities in our city, it is a success,” Klufas said.

Council will vote on the proposed incentive program at a future city council business meeting.

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