Media giant, Time Warner, will make a $5 million capital investment in a shared services center in Hillsborough County, committing to create 500 jobs over the next five years.
Anticipated to open in Tampa or Temple Terrace in late 2012, the center will start with about 100 employees—jobs that will mainly be in human resources and IT.
According to Time Warner CFO John Martin, average salaries will start, “north of $50,000 a year.”
Florida’s state and local tax incentives were a big part of the broadcast and publishing company’s decision to move to Hillsborough, Martin said.
The final package includes $1.5 million in Qualified Target Industry funds—tax refunds for every new job created, including $1.2 million from the state and $300,000 from local community matches—and $900,000 from the Quick Action Closing Fund, as well as funds for workforce training. Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa are offering an additional $225,000 each in incentives for a total of $450,000 at the local level.
“We’ll get a great return on the dollars that we’re putting up,” Gov. Rick Scott said. Adding that the investment will pay off for the state with a boost in sales, property and other taxes in the coming years.
Martin said that the county’s labor force was most likely one of the biggest reasons Florida won out against such cities as Atlanta, GA; Rochester, NY; and Phoenix, AZ. There were also “modestly lower costs” associated with the Tampa area compared with Atlanta and the fact that Time Warner has had a customer service unit operating there for 25 years.
Successes with that operation “underscored our confidence that we could grow a new business here,” he said.