Florida has one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation, which is why it has one of the nation’s strongest, fastest-growing economies. Some state lawmakers were about to put all that in jeopardy with a plan to pass hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to special interests and politically-connected corporations.
AFP had other plans.
Our activists throughout the state took to the phones and to the streets, and encouraged lawmakers to listen to their constituents’ call for lower taxes and an end to corporate welfare. This grassroots effort helped save taxpayers over $1 billion, with a possible $2.2 billion in eventual savings.
“The fact that so many Republicans breaking with Scott on the matter shows how much respect — and fear — some elected officials have for AFP, especially in a chaotic election year like this one,” Sunshine State News wrote. “When the smoke cleared, Scott’s call for additional funding went down, and AFP can take much of the credit.”
Of the 32 bills we opposed, not one passed. $0 was allocated for the governor’s $250 million Florida Enterprise Fund, and $0 of a possible $12 million was allocated for pro sports stadium subsidies. Taxpayers also saved millions on both film and renewable energy incentive programs when the previous programs were not renewed.
Drastic cuts were also made to the state’s existing public-private economic development corporation, Enterprise Florida. The program was allocated a total of $8 million, while receiving around $40 million in previous years.
Approximately $400 million dollars in additional tax relief, consisting mostly of cuts to sales and property taxes, was also secured for Floridians.
In addition to the work of our passionate grassroots activists, who made nearly 250,000 contacts at the doors and over 350,000 on the phones, AFP-FL drew attention to corporate welfare through an intensive direct mail and social media campaign that educated Floridians about its negative impacts on hardworking entrepreneurs and families.
“Corporate welfare used to be business as usual in the Sunshine State, but now state lawmakers are beginning to fight back,” said State Director Chris Hudson. “When session convenes next year, I hope lawmakers will continue to dedicate themselves to eliminating even more wasteful spending.”