Creating Jobs For Florida Families
Governor Scott’s policies continue to eliminate burdensome regulations while providing tax relief to Florida job creators.
Cutting the Business Tax. This budget includes funding to support the proposal to exempt another 2,000 taxpayers from having to pay the business tax by increasing the corporate income tax exemption from $50,000 to $75,000. This exemption was increased from $5,000 to $25,000 in 2011. The exemption has increased to $50,000 effective January 1, 2013. The Governor proposes generating the recurring $19.7 million necessary to pay for the increased exemption through cost savings across state government. Eliminating this tax will ensure more small businesses can hire more workers, providing Florida families with jobs.
Building Up Florida Manufacturing Jobs. Building up the state’s manufacturing sector is critical to strengthening the state’s economy because it creates stable jobs for Florida families. Currently, there are 17,500 manufacturing companies in Florida that employ more than 300,000 Florida families. Florida’s current tax policy puts the state at a competitive disadvantage because most states do not force manufacturers to pay taxes on the purchase of equipment or require them to adhere to regulations for tax exemptions. In order to build up manufacturing jobs in Florida, Governor Scott will remove these barriers to investment.
The Governor’s proposal will eliminate restrictions on businesses to receive the sales tax exemption, which can inhibit a business’s investment decision. Through 2012, the sales tax exemption was available for expanding businesses which could show that they increased their output by at least 10 percent. Beginning on January 1, 2013, the requirement was lowered to 5 percent. Through cost savings and efficiencies across state government, the Governor will generate the recurring $115.3 million necessary to pay for the cost of his proposal to fully eliminate the 5 percent requirement. The removal of this outdated requirement, beginning January 1, 2014, will assist businesses in making the investments necessary to add equipment and create jobs for Florida families.
Supporting manufacturing growth will not only move our state forward and provide jobs for our families, but will make Florida well positioned to provide goods to international markets and allow Florida to be a global hub for trade. Providing good manufacturing jobs will bring stability to Florida’s families, to Florida’s manufacturing base and to Florida’s economy.
Training Florida’s Workforce: The Governor recommends in FY 2013-14 approximately $289.4 million for Florida’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards responsible for providing workforce services directly linked to job seekers and businesses, including job placement, recruitment assistance, and skills training. The Florida Workforce System helped place more than 426,000 Floridians in jobs in 2012. More than 27,000 Florida veterans have found jobs with the help of the state’s workforce system in the last year.
Quick Response Training Program Flexibility and Funding: To improve the state’s competitiveness, the Governor’s budget includes an increase in state financial support for the Quick Response Training (QRT) Program from $6 million to $12 million. This doubling of QRT funds will:
- Provide grant funding for customized training to new or expanding businesses
- Allow flexibility for the program to expand to reach new employees
- Allow Florida to effectively retain and attract businesses
- Create new high-quality jobs
- Make Florida more competitive in the global economy
Ready to Work Program: The Governor recommends $2.3 million for the Ready to Work Program which links job seekers to employers requiring specific work skills. In funding these programs, the Governor continues to focus on getting Floridians back to work.
Attracting and Retaining Businesses: The Governor, with the support of the Florida Legislature, created the Department of Economic Opportunity in October 2011, with the goal of supporting innovative public-private partnerships to accelerate Florida’s economic recovery. Through these economic development partnerships, an environment has been created to improve Florida’s capacity to attract, retain, and expand businesses. DEO’s public-private partnerships include but are not limited to:
- Enterprise Florida Inc.;
- VISIT Florida;
- Space Florida; and
- The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.
Recommended funding for these public-private partnerships is approximately $117 million for FY 2013-14.
A critical component of the Governor’s Recommended Budget for FY 2013-14 includes economic development funding in the form of incentives such as the Quick Action Closing Fund, the Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund, and the Innovation Incentive Program, for approximately $279 million. A key component is the flexibility to use these funds to react quickly to unexpected opportunities, which will enhance business retention and job creation.
Additionally the Governor is recommending approximately $36 million to be used for the Governor’s Recognition Awards for Transformational Economic Development.
Improving Florida’s Transportation System: Governor Scott recognizes that the quality and safety of Florida’s transportation systems are vital to the growth of the state’s economy and the creation and retention of more than 505,000 transportation-related jobs. The Governor’s Recommended Budget of $8.3 billion for the Department of Transportation’s Work Program provides for the construction and maintenance of Florida’s roads, bridges, rails, seaports, and other public transportation systems that are critical to the growth of Florida’s economy and improving the quality of life for Florida’s families.
Recommended funding totaling $3.6 billion for highway construction includes investments in:
- $15M Economic Development Projects (Road Fund)
- $144M County Transportation Programs
- $765M Operations and Maintenance
- $766M Right-of-Way Land Acquisition and Support
- $525M Resurfacing
- $401M Public Transit Development Grants
- $287M Bridge Construction
- $288M Seaport Projects
- $169M Aviation Grants
- $20M Space Florida
- $160M Rail Projects
- $155M Debt Service Payments
The budget also recommends $288 million in funding for Seaport Projects, including:
- Port Canaveral West (basin deepening and widening);
- Port Miami Deep Dredge (deepen South Fisherman’s Channel);
The budget also includes $160 million in funding for rail projects, including SunRail/ Phase II (construction/expanding 29 miles).
Growing Jobs in Florida’s Agricultural Industry: Florida agriculture employs three quarters of a million people and contributes more than $100 billion annually to the state’s economy. Florida has 47,500 commercial farms, occupying a total of 9.25 million acres and ranks second in the value of vegetable production. Additionally, Florida ranks first in cash receipts for oranges, grapefruit, fresh snap beans, sweet corn, watermelons, fresh cucumbers, squash and sugarcane, and ranks second in the production of greenhouse and nursery products. Florida accounts for 65 percent of the total U.S. citrus production. Nationally, Florida ranks 11th in beef cows and seventh in agricultural exports, shipping more than $3.1 billion in goods out of the state. The Governor’s $1.4 billion proposed agriculture budget includes the following funding to ensure Florida agriculture leads the nation:
- Protecting Florida’s Citrus Industry through Research - Governor Scott’s budget provides $4 million in funding for short-term research projects on how to stop the spread of citrus greening, a bacterial disease, which greatly reduces citrus production, and kills citrus trees. The citrus industry provides an economic impact of $8.91 billion annually, accounts for 75,827 jobs, represents about two-thirds of the U.S. citrus market, and accounts for 40 percent of the world’s orange juice supply.
- Ensuring an Adequate Supply of Citrus Trees - Governor Scott’s budget provides $500,000 in funding for the construction of a new greenhouse at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ budwood facility in Chiefland.
- Citrus Health Response Program - Governor Scott’s budget provides $7.1 million in funding to help protect the economic well being of the citrus industry by surveying groves for pests and diseases and ensuring growers are taking appropriate measures to suppress disease incidence, minimize spread and preserve citrus acreage through coordinated efforts.
- Protecting Florida’s Valuable Gulf Seafood Industry - Governor Scott’s budget provides $2 million in authority to spend the remaining funds awarded by BP to continue testing and analyses of Florida Gulf seafood and also continue the high-visibility marketing campaign to assure consumers that seafood is safe to eat.
- Oyster Reseeding and Rehabilitation - Governor Scott’s budget provides $200,000 in authority to spend the remaining federal funds awarded by Congress in FY 2006-07 as a result of hurricane damage.
One Stop Business Registration Portal: Allowing businesses to go to one state government website to meet their registration and licensure requirements streamlines processes so they can be in operation more quickly. The Governor recommends $532,409 to make enhancements to the One Stop Business Registration Portal.