Bradenton City Council approves updates to enterprise zones

jtate@bradenton.comSeptember 12, 2013 

BRADENTON -- The Bradenton City Council updated city enterprise zones by a 5-0 vote Wednesday.

Volker Reiss, Bradenton compliance manager, said zone boundaries had to be updated to reflect the 2010 Census.

"Every 10 years, after all the results come out from the census track, we have to look at the enterprise zone to see if they still qualify under state law, and sometimes it doesn't because areas change," said Reiss.

To qualify, an area in the zone must have a 20 percent poverty level and an unemployment rate higher than the state average.

An enterprise zone is a designated area that allows businesses to receive financial aid and benefits, including tax credits for hiring people who live in the zone or for buying certain business equipment.

"It's not money up front, but it reduces your sales tax or income tax liability," said Reiss.

He said more businesses were added to the zones and some residential areas were taken out.

Reiss encourages people to contact him at the city of Bradenton to learn more about enterprise zones and their boundaries.

In other business, the council approved special use permits for two auto repair businesses in the enterprise zone.

Dale Conlon and Don Jackson, who own a repair shop at 302 Seventh St. E., received a special use permit to operate an automotive repair shop. Although the business is already in existence, they were cited by code enforcement to get the necessary special use permit to be in compliance with land-use regulations.

Danny Anderson, whose business is located at 601 Ninth St. W., received a special use permit to sell scooters and do automotive repairs. He said he's been selling scooters for the past year but was told he needed a permit.

With his permit, he can now display up to 15 scooters at his business.

The past three months he's been in the process of getting the correct permit to sell scooters, which have increased his business.

"It increased business 25 percent to 30 percent, and it brings in different foot traffic," said Anderson, who's been in business for 21 years.

The council voted 5-0 to approve each permit.

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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