October 21, 2020
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
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February 5, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to meet with the Enterprise Florida team yesterday. While we appreciated the opportunity to hear from you in advance of the release of your report, we are disappointed that the report was released without any response from our organization (or without even receiving an advanced copy, which you said we would be provided during our meeting). We requested that the information we discussed yesterday be released along with your report in order to provide much-needed clarification and context.
Additionally, we were deeply troubled yesterday when you told us that this report was funded by Americans for Prosperity, a group who publicly opposes all incentives – an economic tool provided in Florida law to help our state compete for business investment across the country and around the world. This group has been outspoken in their campaign against economic incentives for job creation. In fact, Americans for Prosperity-Florida recently posted on Facebook, “Enough is enough! Florida needs to get out of the business of trying to pick winners in the marketplace, and just promote free market policy instead.” On June 23, 2012, Sunshine State News reported that, “Americans for Prosperity-Florida wants to replace the state employee pension system, eliminate corporate income taxes and it wants Florida to stop giving tax credits to attract businesses.”
Integrity Florida has claimed to be a non-partisan, non-profit organization with no policy agenda. However, a report on economic incentives for job creation funded by a group that so publicly opposes these incentives is deeply troubling.
Due to our increased concerns about the independence and balance of your analysis of our economic development tools, we are requesting that you publicly post and distribute our response to your report in the same manner that you have publicized your initial report. This response will include information left out of your report, including the aggressive actions the state has taken (and is currently undertaking) to pin down bad actors and ensure they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law, where laws are found to be violated. Digital Domain, for example, is currently under review by the Inspector General, following Governor Scott’s call for a review of how the company received incentive funds after being declined by the state’s vetting process. It appears that this project was brought back to life and funded in another way that effectively circumvented the process we have in place to recommend or decline projects.
We feel just as strongly about our mission of job creation as we do our commitment to safeguarding taxpayer funds. We look forward to your response to this important request, which will best ensure a transparent, balanced and non-partisan conversation about the important subject of job creation tools in our state.
Secretary of Commerce
President & CEO, Enterprise Florida Inc.