Legislation Eliminating Economic Development Will Make Florida Less Competitive
By: Edie Ousley
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (March 10, 2017) – Today, Florida Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Wilson released the following statement on the economic development vote in the Florida House of Representatives:
“Today’s decision by the Florida House of Representatives to dismantle economic incentive initiatives sends the message that Florida isn’t interested in growing jobs and businesses as it once was.
“Eliminating Florida’s targeted and proven economic development programs is not the way forward. At the Florida Chamber, we understand incentives are rarely ever used and are usually inappropriate. However, in the 1-5 percent of the cases where incentives matter, site selectors tell us that these incentives are often the difference maker which is why the Florida Chamber continues to support a limited use of targeted incentives.
“Until the Florida Legislature makes Florida the most competitive business climate in the world — by continuing to reduce regulation, lowering workers compensation costs, eliminating lawsuit abuse, insurance fraud, and the business rent tax, as well as providing targeted incentives for high-paying, sustainable jobs — the last thing Florida should do is take tools off the table. Today’s move to take economic development strategies that work off the table is frankly, irresponsible and severally damages Florida’s ability to continue to lead the nation in job creation, particularly from small businesses who create most of the new jobs in Florida, and economic opportunities.
“If we could compete on our sunshine-soaked beaches and current lack of income tax alone, we would win. But the fact is, at the Florida Chamber we are living in the real world, where our competitors are not giving up these important economic development tools anytime soon.”