Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption (EDATE)
This local government administered incentive provides a case-by-case temporary tax exemption for real and/or tangible personal property improvements. The incentive is available at the county level (administered by the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners) and at the municipality level in Crestview, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Valparaiso (administered by their respective city councils.)
Okaloosa County remains competitive by not only providing this tool county-wide but by providing the tool in the City of Crestview, Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Valparaiso!
This incentive is reserved for new or expanding businesses. Up to 100% of the assessed value for all improvements to real property made by or for use of a new business may be exempted. An exemption of the assessed value of all added up improvements to real property and the net increase of tangible personal property is also allowed for expanding businesses. The business applying must pay higher than the average wage and hire at least 25 additional employees as a result of the improvements. If a company manufactures, processes, compounds, fabricates, or produces for sale items of tangible personal property at a fixed location and which comprises an industrial or manufacturing plant, the minimum job creation is 10 additional employees.
Download the EDATE Fact Sheet and Application Process
Frequently Asked Questions About EDATE and How It Creates Jobs In Okaloosa County
"What is EDATE?"
EDATE is an acronym for Economic Development Ad valorem Tax Exemption. It is an economic development tool that provides Okaloosa County, the City of Fort Walton Beach, City of Destin, City of Crestview and City of Valparaiso to remain competitive in business recruitment efforts. This tool was created by the Florida Legislature for use by local government (F.S. 196.1995). EDATE helps diversify the county’s business base by encouraging industries creating high-wage jobs to locate or expand in Okaloosa County.
"How does EDATE work?"
EDATE allows local government to exempt up to 100% of a company’s property tax for up to 10 years as an incentive to build or expand its facility and add new jobs for our citizens.
"Is this a new program?"
The Okaloosa program was initially approved by voters in 1981, renewed in 1992 and renewed again in 2014. Also in 2014, the City of Fort Walton Beach, City of Destin and the City of Crestview began their 10 year program. In 2016, the City of Valparaiso successfully passed their EDATE referendum.
"What determines how much incentive is offered to a company to move here?"
There are three main factors:
How much the company will invest in building new facilities and other capital projects such as equipment, machinery, etc.
How many new jobs will be created.
The salary that will be paid to employees in relation to the average salary in Okaloosa County. Only businesses paying 110% of the average wage may qualify. Average wage is $39,591 and 110% is $43,550.
"Will the program create more competition for existing businesses?"
The program encourages diversification in the business community; it is not intended to create competition for existing businesses.
"Can existing businesses take advantage of this opportunity?"
Yes, this incentive encourages existing businesses to expand, purchase new equipment, and create new jobs.
"What taxes are eligible for exemption?"
Okaloosa County property taxes on new or improved qualifying buildings and tangible personal property equipment will be eligible. No current tax revenues will be lost. This exemption does not include taxes payable to the school district, emergency personnel or water districts. The business will be required to pay those taxes with no adjustments.