Enterprise Florida: Why Taxpayer-Funded Incentives Are A Bad Deal

February 05, 2013

Government Should Let the Free Market and Competitive Business Environment Draw New Jobs

Tallahassee, Florida— Today Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the nations premier grassroots advocate for economic freedom, in partnership with government watchdog group Integrity Florida, announced the release of the report Enterprise Florida: Economic Development or Corporate Welfare.  The report analyzes Enterprise Florida’s (EFI) purpose compared with their results.  It also examines the pay-to-play appearance of Enterprise Florida’s Board of Directors, potential conflicts of interest between the Board and EFI staff, deals and contracts with Board member companies and questions EFI’s reported new job numbers.

“Enterprise Florida was created by the Legislature more than twenty years ago with the lofty goal of bringing new jobs to Florida.  Yet it has failed to meet its stated goals all while giving the appearance of being a hotbed of cronyism and corporate welfare,” said AFP-Florida’s State Director Slade O’Brien.  “Millions of tax payer dollars have been handed out to companies for the promise of new jobs but these deals have failed to fulfill their promises, and only disrupt the natural free market.”

The report, available HERE, outlines a number of failed deals as well as deals that illustrate why government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the market.

 O’Brien continued, “Giving out tax payer funded incentives to companies that are coming to Florida or expanding their existing business is not a proven way to encourage jobs.  Our elected officials would be better served to promote policies that will benefit employers and employees in the long run rather than short-term incentives.  The Five for Florida plan that we released last summer specifically addresses policies that our elected officials can implement now to make Florida number one for businesses, entrepreneurs and families. Low taxes and decreased regulatory burdens will do more to encourage permanent job growth in our state than a one-time cash handout will.”

Read more about the Five for Florida plan HERE.

View this statement in Spanish HERE.

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