March 16, 2020
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Last week, the Sun-Sentinel published an editorial that omitted, mischaracterized and misrepresented key facts regarding Enterprise Florida.
The editorial hinges its argument on Digital Domain. However, Digital Domain was not an EFI project. Instead, in 2009 the company subverted the vetting process and was appropriated funds using budget proviso language. Digital Domain is an example of WHY EFI and DEO’s current incentive process is so important, a point the Sun-Sentinel completely misses.
Enterprise Florida, in conjunction with the Department of Economic Opportunity, maintains an open and transparent system of economic development that creates jobs and opportunities for Floridians with a great return on investment for taxpayers. Simply put, if a company doesn’t hit their job creation goals, they don’t receive their incentives. Period.
Below are additional facts to counter misleading claims made by the Sun-Sentinel in their Editorial “Open the books on bonuses, deals”.
CLAIM: “The problem with Enterprise Florida isn’t too little money. It’s too little explanation of how Enterprise Florida spends its money.”
CLAIM: There has been insufficient reform to prevent another Digital Domain.
CLAIM: Under Scott, the executive branch has much discretion. Because of legislation he sought in 2011, the governor has almost full control over economic development.
CLAIM: The governor can spend up to $2 million without asking the Legislature. He can spend another $5 million simply by notifying the Legislature.
CLAIM: “The latest DEO annual report cites “contracted” jobs and “expected” investment from state incentive deals, but offers no long-term look at how reality matches the promises made at press conferences.”
CLAIM: “Multiple news reports, however, suggest that incentive-based jobs often don’t materialize. Between 1996 and 2011, the Palm Beach Post reported, the state came up two-thirds short on incentives-based jobs. In late 2013, the Tampa Bay Times reported that under Scott only a fraction of incentives-based jobs have materialized. And a 2013 report by Integrity Florida said Enterprise Florida had delivered less than half of its promised jobs.”
CLAIM: “There also are inherent problems in Enterprise Florida’s structure. Among the 64 voting board members are corporate executives who pay $50,000 each for the prestigious seat. Those executives decide which companies get state money. The potential for conflict is clear.”
CLAIM: “At the same time, Senate spreadsheets show Enterprise Florida has not spent most of the public money it has received since Scott took office in 2011.”