Analysis: Scott’s budget follows through on economic development promises

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As promised, Governor Rick Scott’s $74 billion budget request includes millions in tax breaks for manufacturers and more to help state economic developers to entice companies to relocate or expand in the state. The governor repeated his call for expanding the sales tax exemption for machinery used in manufacturing, a $140 million savings for 17,500 manufacturing companies in the state. That would cost the state $115 million.

Other provisions in Scott’s plan include $200 million more for economic incentives and $35 million more to market’s the state through Visit Florida, the state’s tourism arm. Earlier Thursday, Enterprise Florida President Gray Swoope, defended the state’s economic incentive programs, saying recent fiascos including Digital Domain, a member-driven project that received $20 million from the state before closing shop last year, circumvented Enterprise Florida’s review process, which has largely been successful in vetting projects.

Other spending priorities include $50 million for affordable housing through its State Housing Initiatives Partnership program. Funds can be used for down payment assistance, repairs, renovations and other incentives created local governments and private partners.

Via The News Service of Florida.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.