Thursday, November 5, 2015
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (November 4, 2015) – Last week, the TC Palm ran an editorial on Enterprise Florida’s economic development efforts that both seriously confuses and omits the facts. TC Palm wrote their editorial entitled “More money for Enterprise Florida? Come to Treasure Coast for answers,” without reporting the due diligence process has been completely revamped since 2010.
TC PALM: “Seven businesses in our three-county area have received $117.5 million in state incentives, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The lion’s share of these incentives were awarded to three upstart companies in Port St. Lucie. Two of them — the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida and Wyndcrest (Digital Domain), which received a total of $80 million from the state — are no longer in business”
FACTS: These St. Lucie Projects did not undergo today’s rigorous vetting process
- Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute received funding in 2008 under a previous administration that did NOT have as stringent pay-for-performance requirements that we currently have.
- In 2010, the Department of Economic Opportunity, in conjunction with Enterprise Florida, has instituted pay-for-performance and sanctions to ensure money is only disbursed once a company performs and protect the taxpayer dollars.
- 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 that protects taxpayer dollars is so important, a point the TC Palm completely misses.
- EVERY project since 2010 has protections that recoup taxpayer dollars if a project fails to live up to its commitments.