Florida Brownfields Sites No Longer Eligible for State Tax Credits Simply for Perceived Contamination

Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill that prevents businesses from receiving state tax breaks simply because of perceived pollution on their properties. The measure (SB 406) will require companies receiving Brownfield tax incentives to be on or next to property where a pollution-cleanup agreement with the government is in place. Last year, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Florida companies in 2011 and part of 2012 received as much as $11 million in brownfield economic-development tax breaks. Many, including Publix and Darden Restaurants, were building on land that local officials have said doesn’t appear contaminated. However, the businesses received breaks anyway because the current law does not require actual contamination — only the perception of it. The bill also requires state economists to conduct more rigorous studies to see what benefits business tax incentives create. Sandra Pedicini, Orlando Sentinel | May 28, 2013