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business incentives

Top line tourism, economic development money closed out, chair says

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Don’t expect any movement in the budgets for Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA at the conference committee level. “I’m authorized to negotiate quite a few things in this budget and there’s a few things I’m not, and those would be among the things I’m not,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes, the St. Petersburg Republican chairing the Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Appropriations conference committee. The panel met again at 8 a.m. Saturday. Earlier this week, legislative leadership agreed on roughly $83 billion…

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Rick Scott won’t end fight for economic development, tourism funding

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With the House seemingly intent on gutting VISIT FLORIDA and eliminating Enterprise Florida, Gov. Rick Scott suggested he won’t stop counterpunching. The governor, who spoke to reporters after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, has been openly warring with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. He’s been out to kill state government’s business incentives programs. Corcoran counts Enterprise Florida (EFI), the state’s economic development organization, and VISIT FLORIDA, its tourism marketing arm, as dispensers of “corporate welfare.” Scott says they help create jobs. Though both are public-private…

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Rick Scott stumps for economic development, tourism dollars in Tallahassee

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Proponents of keeping Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA have been repeating the talking point that even Coca-Cola, king of market share, still advertises. And so on Monday, Gov. Rick Scott kept driving home his counter-frame to House Speaker Richard Corcoran‘s “corporate welfare” narrative that killing the state’s economic development organization and tourism marketing agency will kill jobs. “Here in Tallahassee, we need to diversify the economy, we need to get more tourism, we need to get more manufacturing companies,” he said,…

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Bill to kill business incentives, Enterprise Florida cleared for House floor

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A House bill that would abolish the Enterprise Florida economic development organization, eliminate a throng of business incentive programs, and strip the VISIT FLORIDA tourism marketing agency down to a barebones $25 million budget cleared its second and final panel Tuesday. That means the measure (HB 7005), OK’d by the House Appropriations Committee on an 18-12 vote, is ready to be considered by the full House when the 2017 Legislative Session begins March 7.  The vote was another hit to Gov. Rick Scott, an advocate…

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Carol Dover still fighting for tourism marketing money

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When it comes to supporting the state’s hospitality industry, Carol Dover won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Despite the Florida House’s opposition to spending money on tourism marketing in the state budget, her Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association is seeking $1 million to do just that. And the funding request is being sponsored by GOP state Rep. Jay Trumbull of Panama City, who already voted for a bill to kill VISIT FLORIDA, the public-private tourism marketing agency. On Feb. 7, Dover – the association’s…

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House panel votes to kill Enterprise Florida, VISIT FLORIDA

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A Florida House panel Wednesday cleared a bill that would eliminate the Enterprise Florida economic development organization, the VISIT FLORIDA tourism marketing agency, and a slew of economic incentive programs – the first step of a long journey through one chamber of the Legislature. The Careers and Competition Subcommittee OK’d the proposal (PCB CCS 17-01) by a nearly party-line vote of 10-5. One Democrat voted for it, Miami’s Roy Hardemon, and one Republican was opposed, Sarasota’s Joe Gruters – an ally of…

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Rick Scott’s favorite business incentive is losing money, Senate hears

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Gov. Rick Scott’s favored economic incentive program – the Quick Action Closing Fund (QAC) – is now losing money, the Legislature’s chief economist told a Senate panel Wednesday. The QAC is a pot of cash that Scott can draw up to $2 million from without legislative approval to entice businesses to the state. But though the state’s “return on investment” from QAC projects was $1.10 per dollar four years ago, it’s now down to 60 cents per dollar, Amy Baker…

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