It's incredibly sad to watch House members who heartily supported Enterprise Florida during other sessions now talk nonchalantly about flushing Florida's economic success down the toilet as if it happened by magic. As if Rick Scott didn't spend the last six years kicking the door open, hauling the state economy up by its bootstraps, turning Florida into the envy of every governor in America.
You want to credit Barack Obama, the national GNP, a natural turnaround from the Great Recession that lifted all boats, go ahead. Do it. But are you really willing to risk it? Do you really think the state's success can plow on forever without daily application? Florida has performed in virtually all categories -- in jobs, imports, tourism, business growth and more -- better than 49 other states much of the time.
On Friday, members of the House will vote on HB 7005.
The money saved, I fear, will be sucked into general revenue -- some as tax refunds, maybe, but mostly it will blow in the wind like grains of sand, and by next year be gone.
Gov. Scott released a list of programs that are due to be eliminated in HB 7005, and I want to repeat the list here -- in the hope House members will look it over carefully one more time and consider the profound risk they're taking if they end the life of these programs:
- Enterprise Florida, Inc.
- Florida Defense Alliance
- Florida Small Business Development Center Network
- Quick Response Training Program
- Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research
- Capital Investment Tax Credit
- State of Florida International Offices
- Qualified Defense Contractor and Space Flight Business Tax Refund Program
- Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program
- Brownfield Redevelopment Bonus Refunds
- High Impact Business Performance Incentive
- Quick Action Closing Fund
- Innovation Incentive Program
- Marketing and Image Campaign Enterprise Florida, Inc.
- Florida Small Business Technology Growth Program
- Florida Capital Formation Act
- Florida Opportunity Fund Creation and Duties
- Microfinance Guarantee Program
- Urban High-Crime Area Jobs Tax Credit Program
- New Market Development Program
- New Market Tax Credit
- Limited sales and use tax exemption for education-related purchases
- Entertainment Industry Tax Credit
- Office of Film and Entertainment
- Florida Film and Entertainment Industry Advisory Council
- Entertainment industry qualified production companies
- International Game Fish Association World Center Facility
- Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund
- Economic Development Transportation Projects
- SEED Trust Fund
- Tourism Promotional Trust Fund
- Florida International Trade and Promotion Trust Fund.
Quite a list. It's pretty much all the tools in our economic development toolbox. I guess I just don't understand. It's probably over my head.
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith