As we reported on budget negotiations between the House and Senate on Amendment 1 funding, another key issue will be funding Governor Scott’s request for $250 million for luring companies to relocate to Florida. This incentive money is placed in the “Quick Action Closing Fund”, which was created in 2006 to allow the Governor to write checks to lure companies to relocate to Florida.
Under Florida law, the governor's multi-million dollar awards can remain secret for a year or longer, if the company requests it. The Governor may approve “Quick Action Closing Fund” projects requiring less than $2 million without consulting the legislature.
The Senate has matched Scott's $250 million incentives ask, The House wants reforms passed on how the Governor can hand out checks before agreeing to any funding. More and more House members are questioning the legitimacy of corporate welfare programs like the “Quick Action Closing Fund” and believe increasing the total from the current year's $43 million in incentives funding is too high.
Funding the “Quick Action Closing Fund” only exists to give powerful well-connected businesses our money and does nothing to create a business friendly environment for all businesses big or small and to create a level playing field.
In a free market, we, the consumers, pick winners and losers by our choices of where we spend our money. Corporate Welfare transfers that power from the citizens to the ruling class in Tallahassee. Picking winners and losers- giving special privileges to some- hurts all other businesses. Big business gets a competitive advantage while smaller businesses carry the brunt of higher taxes and regulations.
Corporate Welfare programs in Florida, where the powerful elites get special privileges from the legislature is extremely unfair to small business. The Florida legislature instead should look to minimize government influence in the marketplace, by reducing regulatory, business and professional fees and permits, as well as lowering taxes, such as all property taxes, including commercial property owners getting hammered with property taxes. As always, the Florida legislature should reduce all tax burdens by shrinking the size of government and letting people keep more of their hard earned money to spend on these small businesses and lower taxes reduces the capital cost of small businesses. Instead of subsidizing one huge corporation at a time, we should encourage 1,000 new small businesses that can compete on a level playing field.
Contact the legislative leadership and tell them to stop using taxpayer money to bribe businesses to relocate to Florida. NO funding for the “Quick Action Closing Fund”.
Speaker of the House Steve Crisafulli
(850) 717-5051 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Richard Corcoran- House Appropriations Chairman
(850) 717-5037 / email@example.com
Senate President Andy Gardiner
(850) 487-5013 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida Senator Tom Lee-Senate Appropriations Chairman
(850) 487-5024 / email@example.com