Qorvo’s request has no support from City staff or council
Everyone knows what they say about going to the well once too often.
In December, the Apopka City Council in cooperation with Orange County agreed to assist the Apopka-based business Qorvo on a tax abatement incentive whereby it would receive real estate rebates over a number of years equal to a maximum of $120,000 ($60,000 each from Apopka and Orange County). The State of Florida is also participating by granting another $480,000 in incentives.
The Council voted 5-0 in favor of the tax breaks, and heaped praise on the homegrown billion dollar business.
Mayor Joe Kilsheimer echoed the Council’s excitement…
“The staff has been working on this for eight months in concert with Orange County and in concert with the state,” he said at the December 7th City Council meeting. “We are now at a point where we can move forward and move forward aggressively. I’m thrilled with this project. We have a tremendous opportunity for a local business to create more jobs, create more capitol investment and create more intellectual brain power here in Apopka. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
But then a curious thing happened in January – Qorvo asked for a reduction of their impact fees on top of the tax incentives.
According to information from the City Council agenda packet, impact fees are due and payable for all new construction both commercial and residential. The fees are based on anticipated water and sewer usage and building size. In Qorvo’s case, they will owe $102,773.25 for traffic, sewer and water impact fees. Representatives of Qorvo expressed the desire to reduce overall costs of their project and asked City staff about reducing these specific expenses.
City Administrator Glenn Irby explained to the City Council the route they could take if they chose to give Qorvo the additional reduction.
“You can’t just set the fees aside,” he said. “They have to be paid. However it doesn’t matter who pays them. The individual funds of the City can pay them. Unfortunately staff can’t support this because of the benefits already extended to Qorvo. We don’t believe these should be extended as well.”
Commissioner Doug Bankson was the first to concur with Irby.
“I absolutely agree. I think that’s a precedent that would put us in a bad spot. I agree with staff on this one.”
Kilsheimer sensed there was no support from any Council member, and looked to the audience for an explanation or rebuttal from a company representative.
“Is Qorvo here?” Kilsheimer asked.
There was no reply.
Kilsheimer called with a laugh for any of the Council to make a motion for Qorvo to receive a reduction of impact fees, but there were no takers.
The only comment came from Commissioner Billie Dean.
“I would like to go on record as saying I demand this company pay the $103,000,” he said.
The motion died without a vote. The official term was “Failed for no action”.