Finance & Tax Conference Committee Should Adopt Senate Version of SB 406
–House amendment to SB 406 shows disregard for accountability & transparency–
Tallahassee, Florida—Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the nations premier grassroots advocate for economic freedom, was disappointed when the House of Representatives placed a special interest filled, strike-all amendment on SB 406 sponsored by Senator Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando). The Finance & Tax Conference Committee is negotiating the bill as part of the 2013-14 budget negotiations.
Prior to the House’s amendment, SB 406 was a bill advocating for taxpayers by requiring improved reporting and accountability for the millions of tax dollars that are given out as economic development incentives each year. The House amendment gutted the bill and replaced it with multiple special interest tax breaks and handouts, including giving millions of dollars for professional baseball teams to renovate their spring training facilities.
“The House of Representative’s amendment to SB 406 turned an accountability bill into a corporate welfare bill,” commented AFP-FL State Director Slade O’Brien. “Voters oppose the use of tax dollars as corporate handouts, especially for professional sports franchises,” commented AFP-FL State Director Slade O’Brien. “I am confident the Finance & Tax Conference Committee will do what is best for all of Florida’s taxpayers and support the original version of SB 406.”
Last week AFP-FL released a poll showing voters oppose using taxpayer-funded incentives to lure businesses to Florida. Only 28 percent prefer the use of handouts to recruit businesses, while 63 percent believe creating an equal playing field for all businesses is the best way to create jobs. Two-thirds of voters, 66 percent, say they don’t think government should be picking which types of businesses Florida should try to attract.
O’Brien continued, “Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are given away to special interests each year, money that needs to be accounted for. Senator Gardiner has taken the lead on calling attention to the need for improved accountability and transparency for incentives paid for with taxpayer dollars. His fellow legislators should support the Senate version of SB 406, and reject the House’s effort to undermine much needed oversight.”