The County of Hillsborough and the City of Tampa, along with lawyers, consultants and developers have been working together on a scheme to use county taxpayer money to improve property values around downtown Tampa. They call it Transit Oriented Development (TOD).
We should call it TAMPA Oriented Development.
Why expensive light-rail instead of more cost-effective bus transit?
The consultants and the lobby group Moving Hillsborough Forward determined that light-rail would have a bigger impact on Tampa property values than Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or Plain Old Bus (POB) service. Plus, they found that riders would prefer to vote for a shiny new Choo-Choo than a stinky old bus.
So what was the plan to get riders from outside the corridors to the train stations? POB.
The County has given HART $40 million out of the $4 BILLION raised from the last (CIT) sales tax increase. HART has only spent $1.3 million of it while the rest rots in a bank, and we pay interest on the bonds.
If public transportation was so important to them, Ken Hagan and the Transportation Task Force, why was so little of that tax used for the entire county? Waiting for light-rail?
Hagan’s Transportation Task Force was all about property-value-enhancing rail for Tampa.
It was never about helping people get from one place to another.
If transportation was the important goal, a better use of our $40 million would have been made, years ago.
Bogotá Columbia has one of the most sophisticated public transit systems in the world, using only BRT and POB. They make Tampa/Hillsborough look like a third-world country.
We need to get off this 20-year old Choo-Choo plan and get on the bus Gus.
NEW YORK, March 30 /PRNewswire/ — Very competitive labor costs along with moderately-low office/industrial leasing and sales tax costs help make Tampa the least-costly place to do business among 22 U.S. cities/locations with populations exceeding 2 million, according to a study by KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm.
Atlanta was the second most cost-competitive location in the large-cities category, followed by Miami and Baltimore, ranking third and fourth, respectively. Among other locations that performed well in the study were Dallas-Fort Worth, St. Louis, Houston and Phoenix, all with business costs below the U.S. baseline. The most expensive places to do business in the large-cities category were Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, according to the study.
“Our study offers a comprehensive guide for comparing business costs in the United States and contains valuable information for any company seeking a cost advantage in locating a business operation, especially in the current economic climate,” said Hartley Powell, national leader for KPMG’s Global Location and Expansion Services practice. “Selecting the best site for a business operation requires balanced consideration of many factors, including business costs, business environment, personnel costs and quality-of-life issues.”
KPMG’s 2010 Competitive Alternatives study measured 26 significant cost components including labor, taxes, real estate and utilities, as they apply to 17 industries, over a 10-year planning horizon, as well as data on a variety of non-cost-competitive factors. The study enables companies to perform a “quick scan” of jurisdictions to determine which can offer a cost-competitive business environment.
The Cities by the Numbers
According to the study, Tampa had a cost index of 96.0, representing business costs 4.0 percent below the U.S. national baseline of 100.0. Tampa was followed closely by Atlanta at 96.3, Miami at 97.0 and Baltimore at 97.1.
Atlanta’s ranking was driven primarily by very competitive business-operating costs in such areas as office leasing, transportation, labor, and employee benefits, along with a favorable effective corporate-tax rate. Miami benefited from low labor and transportation costs, while Baltimore was helped by low property tax and sales tax costs.
Dallas-Fort Worth, with a cost index of 97.7, ranked fifth among the large U.S. cities and profited mostly from very low natural gas and office leasing costs. St. Louis ranked sixth with a cost index of 97.8, benefiting from very competitive salary and wage costs and very low industry lease costs. In fact, St. Louis tied with Chicago for the lowest industrial-lease cost among the 22 large cities in the study.
Houston and Phoenix ranked seventh and eighth, with cost indexes of 97.9 and 98.1, respectively. Houston also benefited from very low natural gas costs and low office leasing costs, while Phoenix was helped by low salary and wage costs and a moderately-low effective income-tax rate.
At the other end of the spectrum, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco represent the most expensive major North American cities in which to do business, reflecting their high labor costs. San Francisco and Los Angeles, with cost indexes of 104.1 and 101.4, respectively, also have very high sales tax costs, while New York’s very high industrial-lease costs contributed to its high ranking with a cost index of 102.0.
And while San Francisco ranks as the most expensive place to do business among 22 large U.S. cities studied, it is not the most expensive U.S. city to do business, according to the study. That distinction goes to Honolulu, in the study’s small-cities category, with a cost index of 107.3.
Location Decision More Than Just Costs
Commenting further on the study, KPMG’s Powell said: “Identifying which sites are most worthy of further investigation by a company as it considers relocation is just the first step. Although business costs and location issues are important considerations in the site-selection process, companies should also remember that discretionary incentives offered by many jurisdictions may enhance the relative cost-attractiveness of a popular site.”
The overall Competitive Alternatives study measured business-operating costs in 112 cities throughout 10 countries. The full text of the 2010 study is available online at www.CompetitiveAlternatives.com.
By LOIS KINDLE, Tampa Tribune – Feb. 22, 2010
RUSKIN – About 40 people gathered Feb. 11 at the South Shore Business Park to see what Fred Jacobsen and Jim Hosler were up to. For weeks they’d been sending out e-mail messages announcing the formation of a new group aimed at bringing new business to South Shore. Read the full article
Moderated Workshop on Regional Economic Development
Thursday March 11, 2010
5:30pm – 6:30pm
SouthShore Regional Library
15816 Beth Shields Way
Hosted by Economic Development (SHED) Council
The SHED Council is pleased to invite you to our Kick-off meeting to be held at the South Shore Corporate Park on Friday, February 12, 2010 from 2:00PM until 3:30PM. The meeting will be held in the state-of-the-art 90,000 square foot structure located at the southern entrance to the Park on 30th Street in Ruskin (please see the map below). You will be provided the opportunity to tour the new facility developed by Ryan Companies US, Inc. The South Shore Corporate Park is an incredible resource for South Hillsborough County with 4.4 million square feet of DRI approved industrial and office space that is ready for construction. The employment potential offered due to the efforts of Ryan Companies US, Inc. will be a major focus of the SHED Council.
Ryan Companies US, Inc. is a leading national commercial real estate firm offering integrated design-build services to customers. With its Southeast Regional Office in Tampa, Ryan can offer personalized service. Ryan has completed more than 820 projects in 27 states and serves clients in the office, industrial, retail, health care and hospitality markets. If you or someone you know has an interest in the South Shore Corporate Park, please contact Ryan Reynolds with CR Richard Ellis at 813-273-8417 or Ryan.Reynolds@cbre.com .
The SHED Council was formed in November 2009 to pro-actively and aggressively market South Hillsborough County to local, regional and national investors in cooperation with ongoing economic development efforts. We are an economic development organization with the primary purpose of helping with the creation of new jobs in South Hillsborough. South Hillsborough County has millions of square feet of approved industrial, office and retail space that can be developed in the near term, and it has the local labor market required by any new or expanding business. In addition to excellent transportation facilities such as I-75, U.S. 41 and U.S. 301, South Hillsborough has deep-water access through the Port of Tampa and Port Manatee and excellent rail service.
The SHED Council is ready to hit the ground running and pursue every possible lead in order to attract jobs to South Hillsborough. With the SouthShore Campus of Hillsborough Community College and a Hillsborough County School Board Career Center on U.S. 41 south of Ruskin, South Hillsborough County has all of the affordable location factors that will be needed by new or expanding businesses. Please join us on February 12 at 2:00PM. RSVP to the SHED Council’s Managing Director, Jim Hosler at Jim@SHEDcouncil.com .
South Shore Corporate Park – Ruskin Exit Off I-75, go west and turn north(right) onto 30th St.