The operator of the Universal Orlando theme park resort has collected millions of dollars in tax breaks designed for employers in high-crime areas – prompting a legislative proposal to kill the state program that provides the credits. The tax benefit ranges up to $1,500 for every full-time job stationed in a place that fits the City of Orlando’s designation of a high-crime area, which extends from the downtown area to the International Drive corridor, the city’s tourism district. Universal Orlando has 23,000 employees.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Universal City Development Partners, the operator of Universal Orlando, has received almost $4 million of these “high-crime” tax breaks since 2013, and joint ventures involving the parent company of Universal and Loews Hotels another $1.7 million. Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, is sponsoring a bill to eliminate the state’s Urban High-Crime Area Job Tax Credit program. [Orlando Sentinel] – Mike Seemuth