Rep. Jay Fant Discusses Workers’ Comp, Assignment of Benefits and Economic Development


Workers’ compensation and assignment of benefits (AOB) legislation, along with the importance of preserving Florida’s role in economic development programs take center stage on the latest edition of the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line. Representative Jay Fant shares why it’s important for the Florida Legislature to come up with solutions to these major issues facing Floridians.

“Workers comp is what I refer to as the atomic bomb that went off in all our accounting offices in recent months,” Fant (R-Jacksonville) said. “The Castellanos case was not friendly to businesses and it wasn’t friendly to injured workers either. Our biggest obligation in the legislature is to find a way to address this.”

Fant, a Jacksonville Republican, explained that the influence of trial lawyers is significant this session – with trial lawyers heading the Insurance and Banking Committee as well as the Civil Justice Committee.

 “…For the most part the excesses of the trial bar create tremendous problems for our businesses and the assignment of benefit area is one of those areas,” Fant said. “It’s become a runaway unregulated area of the law. That legislation is very difficult and, again, the business community will have to pay very close attention to this progress. We’ve got to get some good outcomes out of it.”

Rounding out the program, Rep. Fant reiterates the need for Florida to retain an active role in supporting economic growth and diversification through targeted incentive programs like Enterprise Florida. As with workers’ comp and AOB, its Florida’s businesses and tax payers that will feel the brunt of the impact should these problems go unresolved, he said.

“The movement against Enterprise Florida is very hurtful for businesses large and small,” he explained. “Small businesses do feed off the larger businesses that we can bring into the state. My great concern is we lose the tax revenue from the larger businesses, the small businesses success that comes from being around those larger businesses, the community coffers that get filled as well as the state’s – the state becomes a lesser competitor.”

Join the Conversation:

Learn more about where the Florida Chamber stands on workers’ comp reform, assignment of benefits and economic diversification. Join the Florida Chamber’s fight to make sure Florida has the best business climate in America, contact Carolyn Johnson.

Find Out How to Qualify for R&D Tax Credit

The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) will begin collecting applications for the R&D Tax Credit against the Corporate Income Tax for tax year 2015 on Sunday, March 20, 2016. The application will be live online until March 26, 2016 at 11:59 PM. During that time, the amount of credits that will be awarded is $23 million, and if applications exceed the cap, will be awarded on a pro-rata basis.

Prior to applying through DOR, companies must certify through the Department of Economic Opportunity that they are a qualified targeted industry business. For additional information on how to apply, including screenshots of the application and information on how to qualify, DOR has released a “Tax Information Publication.”

R&D Tax Credits for 2016 Tax Year

During the 2016 Legislative Session, the Florida Chamber, along with Representatives Ed Narain (D-Tampa), Jay Fant (R-Jacksonville), Matt Gaetz (R-Shalimar) and Senator Jeff Brandes (R- St. Petersburg), advocated to increase the $9 million cap for a second year in a row. Unfortunately, these efforts were not fruitful. The maximum amount of tax credits awarded during the 2017 application period, for the 2016 tax year, will be $9 million. However, these credits will continue to be awarded on a pro-rata basis if the cap is exceeded.

Get Involved:

Contact Carolyn Johnson and share the great R&D work that you are performing in Florida or how fewer credits awarded in 2017 might impact your business at 850-521-1235 or