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5 Comments
Nancy Smith

House Members, Please Don't Jeopardize Florida's Strong Economy

March 9, 2017 - 9:30pm

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.

I Beg to Differ
If the vote goes as predicted, consider how much damage this one bill will do. Consider the programs it will kill, programs, as Gov. Scott says, "diversify and strengthen our economy by attracting targeted industries and good, high-paying jobs that improve the lives of Florida families."

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 nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith

Comments

Nancy, you are absolutely right on this. But sadly, they did not listen. The same "establishment" republicans who tried to force Jeb Bush on us, has fought against Scott because he is not "establishment". They will find out at the voting polls that they chose to vote the wrong way. I deeply hope that Corcoran is voted out, and if he lived in my district, he would be . . . .because I would fight against him every step of the way.

The smart thing to do would be to examine each on this list, determine the exact amounts spent, and the direct return on investment, if any, for each of these. It's easy to spew rhetoric, but hard to justify something with facts. Most if not all of our investment is driven by tourism, which largely relies on other states and national strength and stability, and if people are working and comfortable to travel, mostly from other states and countries for that matter. Advertising our state is a good thing, it is done by most of the larger hotel chains and tourist parks anyway. Advertising and travel to the tune of 80 million dollars a year in tax dollars is ridiculous. This and most of these programs have just become slush funds for secret deals and no bid contracts. To think the state can afford to pay Pitbull 1 million dollars for a commercial and an English race team 20 million to be on their race car is so far beyond acceptable its not even funny. Luckily, Corcoran sued to get the terms of the deals released or we may have never known... Enough is enough.

AGREED <> TRUST FUNDS <> NOW THERE'S AN "OXYMORON" EVERY LOBBYIST - CORRUPT LAWYER - POLITICIAN PERSONIFIES!!! GET RID OF ALL OF THEM <> START-OVER AND AFTER TWO YEARS LOOK-BACK AND ANALYZE THE NEGATIVE - POSITIVE FINANCIAL IMPACT!!! MORE IMPORTANTLY <> OUR REPUBLIC - FLORIDA <> IS DOOMED UNLESS A NEW NATIONAL INDEPENDENT POLITICAL PARTY IS ESTABLISHED <> ASAP

Start by flushing Nancy down the toilet.

AGREED!!! PAY AS YOU GO DOWN THE TOILET!!!

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nancy smith
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