The Collier County Board of County Commissioners created Innovation Zones in 2010 to promote economic development and diversify the local economy by encouraging the construction of corporate headquarters and manufacturing plants. The zones are similar to Community Redevelopment Areas, which turn around blighted communities.
The ordinance's intent is to provide incentives to boost economic growth and create higher-paying jobs outside Collier County's three top industries, hospitality, agriculture and construction/real estate. Commissioners set up the Ave Maria Innovation Zone in 2015 and funds were made available in 2017. In June 2018, the commission approved the Interchange Activity Center No. 9 Innovation Zone, several hundred vacant and undeveloped acres in East Naples (map below).
Under the program, county commissioners create a zone, set a base tax year and tax increases collected in that zone are deposited in that zone's Innovation Trust Fund. Up to $1 million yearly can be deposited into each zone's fund. Revenue from increased property values in each zone's geographic boundaries help pay for projects in that zone.
To qualify for the incentives, developers must get their projects approved before building them. Developers can use the funds in any lawful manner, including infrastructure required to serve new target businesses or the expansion of an existing target business; payment of county impact fees to be paid by the new target business, or the expansion of an existing target business, and payment of building permit fees or other county fees related to the construction of structures that serve the target business. Any payment of funds must be approved in advance by county commissioners. All expenses must be fully documented in a manner acceptable to the county.
Contact or visit our office:
2660 Horseshoe Dr. North., Suite 105, Naples Florida 34104
Jace Kentner, Director