Bartow boasts a pro-business climate, stimulating growth. The Bartow Economic Development Council staff helps companies understand the landscape of business incentives and analyzes their eligibility for local and state business incentives related to job creation and workforce training. Once determined, BEDC staff and the City of Bartow help qualified companies navigate the application process for the business benefits.

Bartow offers businesses of all sizes and industries a very favorable tax structure. Companies enjoy low sales and property taxes and there are no local personal or local corporate income taxes. Florida has a comparatively low corporate income tax rate of 5.5 percent, with no inventory tax, no unitary tax and several sales tax exemptions.

Bartow Incentives

Bartow Community Redevelopment Agency Funding
The Community Redevelopment Agency assistance is available on a case by case basis for businesses within the CRA District. Bartow Community Redevelopment Area Map

Bartow Core Improvement Area – the City initiated an area in the central core of Bartow, where the City and the County impact fees are waived for development. City utility fees still apply. For more information, call City of Bartow Building Official, 863-534-0100.

There is a Economic Development Rider for new or expanded businesses that are large power customers. This incentive is available city wide. Contact Karen Hielscher, Customer Service Supervisor, for more information, 863-534-0100.

County Incentives
(information provided by Central Florida Development Council)

Polk County Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption (AVTE) Program
The exemption was implemented to support economic growth and enhance the county’s ability to be competitive. It is an exemption of taxes to encourage quality job growth in targeted high value added businesses. The exemption was designed to encourage new business development and retain local business with planned expansion. Targeted industries include manufacturing and Quality Target Industry (QTI) companies. The Polk County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) has final approval of all projects. Minimum wage threshold is 115% of the average wage ($53,777) or 100% for manufacturers ($46,763).

Polk County Bonus Incentive Program (PCBI)
The Polk County Bonus Incentive Program (PCBI) is a local cash incentive that was created to augment the State’s Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) tax refund program. Pre-qualified businesses are eligible for refunds of $500+ per net new job. Minimum wage threshold is 115% of the average wage ($53,777).

Regional Incentives

Duke Energy Economic Development Rider
Reduction of base rate demand and energy charges for companies that add 25 net new jobs and have an electrical demand of 500 kWh of which a minimum load factor of 50% must originate from a single point of delivery. Capex must exceed $500,000.

TECO Energy Economic Development Rider Program
Reduction of base rate demand and energy charges for companies that add 25 full-time equivalent new jobs and have an electrical demand of 350 kWh from a single meter.

Florida Public Utilities Natural Gas Commercial Rebate
Rebates are available for new natural gas commercial appliances. Amounts vary by rebate category and customer class.

Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ 79)
Foreign Trade Zone was created to enhance US production and job opportunities by allowing companies to defer, reduce and/or eliminate payment of US Customs duties depending on the range of activities to be conducted in the zone. Bartow / Polk companies are in the service area of FTZ79. Qualified companies can obtain FTZ designation by applying to the US Foreign-trade Zones Board for usage driven site designation. The Grantee of FTZ79 is the City of Tampa.

State Incentives

Quick Response Training (QRT) Grant
The QRT Grant is available to new or expanding businesses to help fund customized training for new employees. Reimbursable training expenses include: instructors’/trainers’ wages, curriculum development, and textbooks/manuals. Because this program is customized, flexible, and responsive to individual company needs, funds are determined on a case-by-case basis.

High Impact Performance Incentive Grant (HIPI)
The High Impact Performance Incentive is a negotiated grant available to companies with a headquarters relocation project or those operating in a high-impact sector of one of Florida’s key industries, including clean energy, financial services, life sciences, semiconductors and transportation equipment manufacturing. In order to qualify, businesses must create 50 new full-time jobs (25 for Research & Development facilities) and make a cumulative investment of $50 million ($25 million if R&D) during a three-year period. If approved, 50 percent of the award is distributed at the beginning, followed by 50 percent once employment and investment goals are met.

Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC)
Up to 20 years in corporate tax credits are available to companies with a headquarters relocation project or operating in the clean energy, financial services, life sciences, semiconductors or transportation equipment manufacturing sectors. In order to qualify, businesses must create 100 new full-time jobs in three years and make a total investment of a minimum of $25 million.

*All incentives are performance based and require a completed application and must be approved by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners before a building is purchased, lease is signed, or announcement is made. These incentives are considered “but for” – meaning that but for the fact that these incentives were made available, the applicant company would be locating elsewhere.

**Disclaimer: The CFDC and its partners have provided the above incentive information for companies interested in doing business in Central Florida. However, under no circumstances, are these incentives guaranteed. A business must meet the required qualifications to be eligible for incentives. If you would like to know if your business qualifies, please call Javier Marin at 863-937-4430 for a confidential consultation.

Workforce Training

Career Source Polk is a workforce development resource for the citizens and business community of Polk County. Its team specializes in understanding your needs as an employer by meeting with you to discuss the services and programs they offer. Training through Career Source Polk includes: On the Job Training and Work Opportunity Tax Credits.

Quick Response Training (QRT) is an employer-driven training program designed to assist new business and provide existing business the necessary training for expansion. This program is customized, flexible and responsible to individual company needs. Polk State College (PSC) is the local fiscal agent for the training and can assist with the application and program development or delivery. The company may use in-house training, outside vendors training or PSC. Reimbursable training expenses include: instructor / trainer wages, curriculum development and textbooks / manuals. Businesses approved for funding are limited to one grant award per site every 12 months. Minimum wage threshold is 125% of the average wage ($58,454).

Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) provides training to existing employees for the purpose of maintaining competitiveness and business retention. Training can be conducted at the business facility, a training provider’s facility or a combination of sites. Florida businesses must have been in operation for at least one year, have at least one full time employee and require training for existing employees. Business must provide a matching contribution to the project.

New Construction

Polk County Impact Fee Mitigation is a reduction or waiver of Polk County impact fees to encourage development. Eligibility requirements include:

  1. Must be a Qualified Targeted Industry
  2. Must create a minimum of 10 new jobs at 115% of the average wage ($53,777)
  3. Must invest at least $10 million in capital investment

Pro-Business Climate

Florida’s huge market and pro-business climate help companies reach growth and expansion goals with ease.

Florida consistently ranks among the best states for business, thanks to its pro-business state tax policies, competitive cost of doing business and streamlined regulatory environment. Government and economic development leaders work together to ensure that the state’s business climate remains favorable to companies of all sizes, including some of the nation’s leading corporations.

  • No state personal income tax guaranteed by constitutional provision
  • No corporate income tax on limited partnerships and subchapter S-corporations
  • No corporate franchise tax on capital stock
  • No state property tax (property tax on county / city level)
  • No property tax on business inventories
  • No property tax on goods in transit for up to 180 days
  • No sales and use tax on goods produced in Florida for export outside the state
  • No sales tax on purchase of raw materials incorporated into a final product for resale
  • No sales and use tax on co-generation of electricity


As Florida is targeting growth in manufacturing, currently manufacturers only have to pay 100% of the average annual wage ($46,763) to be eligible for Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) status, which is a refund of taxes. High Impact Sector Bonus is available for Advanced Manufacturing. Other advantages for manufacturers at the state and local level are:

  • Sales tax exemption on manufacturing equipment
  • Sales tax exemption on labor, parts and materials used in the repair / incorporation of machinery
  • Sales tax exemption on electricity used in the manufacturing process, including boiler fuels (natural gas)
  • Polk County Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption
  • Polk County Bonus Incentive program
  • Bartow Electric Economic Development Rider

Florida Sales and Use Tax Exemptions

  • Machinery and equipment used by a new or expanding Florida business to manufacture, produce or process tangible personal property for sale
  • Labor, parts and materials used in the repair of and incorporated into machinery and equipment
  • Electricity used in the manufacturing process
  • Certain boiler fuels (including natural gas) used in the manufacturing process
  • Semiconductor, defense and space technology-based transactions involving manufacturing equipment
  • Machinery and equipment used predominantly in research and development
  • Labor component of research and development expenditures
  • Commercial space activity – launch vehicles, payloads and fuel, machinery and equipment for production
  • Aircraft parts, modification, maintenance and repair, sale or lease of qualified aircraft
  • Production companies engaged in Florida in the production of motion pictures, made for television motion pictures, television series, commercial advertisements, music videos or sound recordings