Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Statement from Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Bill Johnson: “Recent articles take a narrow and shortsighted approach to understanding economic development in the state. The facts and numbers tell us that Florida’s economic development programs are not only working to win competitive job creation projects but they are also protecting the investment of our tax payers. We have elevated Florida’s professional approach to new levels.
“While the projects Florida has won are contracted to meet job creation benchmarks over several years, you can see progress in communities throughout the state today. Companies such as Navy Federal Credit Union in Pensacola, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care in Jacksonville, Verizon in Lake Mary, Amazon in Lakeland and Hillsborough County, Embraer in Melbourne, Cheney Brothers in Charlotte County and ZImmer Biomet in Palm Beach Gardens are all investing hundreds of millions of dollars in building new and expanded facilities. Beyond the investment in our communities, these projects are already generating new jobs in construction and services, and will create thousands of jobs over the coming years.
“Enterprise Florida is committed to working every day to bring new job opportunities to Florida. With our partners at the Department of Economic Opportunity and Workforce Florida, and our 67 economic development stakeholders, we are actively pursuing projects in and out of the state, nationally and globally, large and small, to create jobs for Floridians. We know economic development works in our state and we will continue to responsibly use the tools available to encourage the establishment, expansion and retention of business in Florida.”
Before Governor Scott, Florida was not competitive
- When Governor Scott took office in January 2011, Florida had its highest unemployment rate since 1970.
- The state had lost more than 800,000 jobs in four years and unemployment had risen from 3.5% to 11.1%.
- The state suffered from the perception that it was not business-friendly.
Today, Florida is winning on cost, talent and competitiveness
- Florida’s business-friendly policies and EFI’s efforts have resulted in an increase of competitive jobs projects established, private-sector jobs created and capital investment.
- Over the last four years, Florida has seen a dramatic increase in project wins:
- Number of Projects – 211 for fiscal year 2015, a 70% increase over 124 projects in 2010.
- Capital Investment – $2.75 billion in capital investment, a 205% increase over $901 million in 2010.
- New Jobs – 23,650 new jobs contracted, a 107% increase over 11,398 new jobs contracted in 2010.
Incentives with due diligence work
- Financial incentives awarded to businesses and local governments are based on meeting performance criteria benchmarks throughout the duration of their agreements with the state and each agreement contains important provisions to protect taxpayer funds.
- Incentive contracts are often 5 to 10 years in length – meaning many of the projects announced by Governor Scott today will not be complete until 2018 and beyond.
- Currently active contracts are on track to create more jobs than required by the state.
EFI is committed to protecting taxpayers
- All of Florida’s incentives are performance based – protecting taxpayer dollars.
- Florida has some of the best compliance and metrics of financial incentive programs anywhere in the country, and accountability measures are in place to ensure taxpayers receive a return on their investment.
- Payments are made, or credits are awarded, only after performance criteria are met or after a business investment is confirmed.
- Most approved incentives fall into the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund, which is provided to create high wage jobs in targeted high value-added industries. No cash is paid to companies up front in this program.
- Since 1995, there have been more than 2,000 economic development transactions representing nearly 1,500 established projects.
An ongoing commitment to transparency
- The Department of Economic Opportunity’sportal provides unprecedented transparency to economic development incentive information – posting information 48 hours after it is no longer confidential.
- EFI supported legislation to accelerate the release of confidential jobs project information from a year to 180 days.