The House Careers and Competition Subcommittee recently held a panel discussion with economist and government officials to review economic incentive programs (aka, corporate welfare). Amy Baker, the state’s chief economist gave a presentation on the return on investment of taxpayer money for the various economic incentive programs.
The question was, are these incentive programs working?
The answer was decidedly negative.
Amy Baker’s report showed that nearly 70 percent of Florida’s state-level incentive and investment programs lost money during the past three years. Baker reported that 18 of the state’s 26 economic incentive programs failed to bring in enough tax revenue to break even — three of those programs were a total loss and required additional funding, including Enterprise Florida’s Quick Action Closing Fund, which had a return of 60 cents for every tax dollar awarded.
Amy Baker concluded her remarks by reiterating that
“Florida’s economic growth stems from its population growth — two times the national average”.
Because of Florida’s large population, businesses will want to relocate to Florida to service the citizens of Florida and local homegrown businesses should be allowed to compete on a level playing field.
Amy Baker cautioned against providing incentives for businesses that might move to Florida anyway, and added that the state has 8.5 million workers and an $800 billion annual state GDP. Using incentives “to attract a worker at a time would be very onerous,” she said.
Florida should be a great place for businesses to thrive. We have great year-round weather, beautiful beaches and multitude of water related activities. We have Disney World and other great theme parks for our children. There are golf courses and tennis courts everywhere, as well as many more amenities accessible to Floridians. We shouldn’t have to bribe any huge corporation to move to Florida. Corporate Welfare programs in Florida, where the powerful elites get special privileges from the legislature is extremely unfair to small business.
An annual report by Thumbtack looks at how business friendly government policies are in each state. The survey showed that small businesses in Florida are frequently frustrated by unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles,” said Jon Lieber, Chief Economist of Thumbtack.
“Florida's small businesses like the tax climate in the state but report there is a lot of room for improvement if the state wants to be more appealing to entrepreneurs.”
This problem for Florida comes mainly from business and professional fees and permits, along with local zoning laws.
Google started with two guys in a garage, which by Florida’s local zoning laws, would be prohibited.
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.
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.
On Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 at 1:00 PM the House Careers and Competition Subcommittee will take up a Proposed Committee Bill (PCB CCS 17-01) to eliminate Enterprise Florida. Enterprise Florida is the public-private partnership that works under a contract with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to implement these failed programs.
Call and e-mail the members of the House Careers and Competition Subcommittee and tell them to support the elimination of Enterprise Florida and to stop using taxpayer’s money for failed corporate welfare programs.
|Full name||Phone Number|
|Halsey Beshears||(850) 717-5007||Halsey.Beshears@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Jay Trumbull||(850) 717-5006||Jay.Trumbull@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Loranne Ausley||(850) 717-5009||Loranne.Ausley@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Larry Ahern||(850) 717-5066||Larry.Ahern@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Ramon Alexander||(850) 717-5008||Ramon.Alexander@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Randy Fine||(850) 717-5053||Randy.Fine@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Julio Gonzalez||(850) 717-5074||Julio.Gonzalez@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Joe Gruters||(850) 717-5073||Joe.Gruters@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Roy Hardemon||(850) 717-5108||Roy.Hardemon@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Shawn Harrison||(850) 717-5063||Shawn.Harrison@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Al Jacquet||(850) 717-5088||Al.Jacquet@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Mike La Rosa||(850) 717-5042||Mike.LaRosa@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Alexandra Miller||(850) 717-5072||Alex.Miller@myfloridahouse.gov|
|Paul Renner||(850) 717-5024||Paul.Renner@myfloridahouse.gov|
|David Silvers||(850) 717-5087||David.Silvers@myfloridahouse.gov|