Charlotte County Economic Development Partnership

Charlotte County EDP 2021

Charlotte County Economic Development Partnership - Creating a Strategic Path to Grow Business and Cultivate a Strong Community

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E very homeowner knows the cost of home ownership includes taxes. It is your share of the operational costs of the city that you live in. That leaves you and your fellow taxpayers with the entire bill to cover the cost of the city or county expense by splitting the cost among the taxpayers. When costs are low, people are content. When the cost of doing business as a city increases, the tax bill is soon to follow. The goal of economic development is to diversify the tax base. A commercial team base serves to supplement the rising needs of the local residential tax base. So without the support of the new businesses that economic development brings, the tax burden rests upon the residential owners. That is what economic development is seeking to serve. "By bringing in additional businesses, it increases the commercial tax base, and it makes the city more profitable," says Dave Gammon, director of the Charlotte County Economic Development Office. It is an obvious equation, since with more to share the responsibility, more share the tax burden. They have proven it elsewhere throughout the country that by adding a diverse population of businesses, it will introduce economic stability to the area. For example, the 1% County Sales Tax gave Charlotte County a specific tax, shared by all who made purchases here, which gave to the County tax moneys for specific projects. Everyone in the neighborhood shares in the benefits of the Edgewater Road improvement and it is easy to see the power of that tax money at work. By introducing new businesses to grow into the community, there are new jobs that are created. Other businesses move in to meet the needs of those newcomers to the community. There are federal programs that new businesses can use to establish themselves as tax paying entities in our community, sending tax dollars into the county coffers. "In this area alone, the cities of Charlotte County stand to receive millions in tax revenue that just was never there before," Gammon says. It serves to strengthen the community's economic vitality, which reinforces the present moment and helps secure its future moments as well. What's on the immediate future horizon? Citing the success of a business such as Cheney Brothers, the local food distributor warehouse for Florida restaurants, Gammon sees more logistics companies taking a serious look at Charlotte County. "When you see what Cheney Brothers has done, with close to 500 new employees being located here, it does not take much to see the economic impact," he says. "Their drivers can run their routes during the day and be home at night for family events and dinner together." The Economic Development Partnership looks to other cities who have been successful in their future-oriented steps. They learn what works and take steps to create a new vision for the city. They also take note of cities who have passed on this concept and continue to struggle. "While every situation is unique," Gammon says, "nothing works for those who do nothing." Without the influx of a new commercial tax base, the residential tax base is then responsible for the rising needs of the locality. "Economic Development reduces the drain on the residents with an alternative source of possibilities for the future," Gammon says. PROJECTS AND IMPROVEMENTS The One Percent County Sales Tax helps pay for projects and improvements that otherwise could not be financed. These projects include infrastructure, trans- portation, education, recreation, public safety and public health. Each year, the tax contributes about $18 million in revenue to county projects. Here are some projects that benefited from that contribution. • Charlotte Performing Arts Center • Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center • South County Regional Park • Linear Park, Laishley Park, MCGuire Park, Harborwalk (Punta Gorda) • Dever Regional Park Recreation Center • Family Services Center • Punta Gorda Charlotte Library • Veterans Memorial Park • Edgewater Expansion • Olean Boulevard widening • Piper Road North improvements • Sheriff District 1 headquarters • School security initiatives • School wireless technology upgrade • Bridge lighting • Trails and on road bicycle lanes • Flood management CHARLOTTE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP A Cheney Brothers truck unloads supplies at Wally's Pour House in South Venice. FILE PHOTO BY JERRY BEARD

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