Governor Rick Scott today announced $24 million in funding awarded to 36 small and rural Florida communities across the state through the Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant and the Rural Infrastructure Fund programs. [Read more…] about Gov. Scott: $24 Million Awarded to Boost Economic Growth, Improve Infrastructure in 36 Small and Rural Florida Communities
Governor Rick Scott today announced his recommendation to designate 427 communities across every Florida county as Low Tax Opportunity Zones. Low Tax Opportunity Zones, as established in the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, encourage long-term investment and job creation in targeted communities by reducing taxes for many job creators. Low Tax Opportunity Zones enhance local communities’ ability to attract businesses, developers and financial institutions to invest in targeted areas by allowing investors to defer capital gains taxes through investments in federally established Opportunity Funds.
Governor Scott said, “Today, I am proud to put forth my recommendations for 427 communities across every county in Florida to be designated as Low Tax Opportunity Zones. These Zones will make a real and lasting difference in some of our highest-need areas by helping to bring new capital investment and more jobs to every county across the state. They will also bring additional investment to rural communities and urban areas, ensuring that every Floridian has the chance to live the American Dream in the Sunshine State.
“In the four years before I took office, Florida lost more than 800,000 jobs, taxes increased by more than $2 billion, debt was skyrocketing and the economy was in ruins. When I became Governor, I promised the families of our state that I would spend every day fighting to grow Florida’s economy, and over the past seven years, we have seen firsthand the huge success that comes with creating an environment where business can grow and create opportunities. Today, thanks to our hard work to cut taxes and reduce burdensome regulations, Florida businesses have created nearly 1.5 million private-sector jobs and unemployment has dropped in every Florida county – but our work isn’t over. Florida must continue to maximize every opportunity to keep growing our booming economy and ensure every family can succeed in our state.”
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “The new Opportunity Zone program will bring the chance for growth home to hundreds of communities from the Panhandle to the Keys. This program will help capitalize on economic development that is already underway and provide a new tool in the toolbox for communities that are looking to grow their economy.”
The evaluation process included statistical analysis of poverty rates, population, unemployment rates and other economic indicators, along with assessing recommendations from more than 1,200 requests. These specific requests came from municipal and county governments, regional planning councils, nonprofits, developers, investors and more.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has 30 days to certify each state’s recommendations. After the Zones are approved, the federal government will begin the rulemaking process to designate how Opportunity Funds are created and how businesses, developers and financial institutions can invest in qualified Zones.
The full list of census tracts nominated as Opportunity Zones can be found HERE. Governor Scott’s letter to U.S. Treasury requesting the designated zones can be found HERE. An FAQ on the Opportunity Zone program can be found HERE.
Governor Rick Scott today announced his 2018-2019 Securing Florida’s Future budget recommendations, which include $1.2 billion to attract businesses and visitors to Florida to continue the state’s incredible economic growth. The Securing Florida’s Future budget also includes an $85 million investment in the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to improve infrastructure and workforce in order to grow the economy across Florida’s local communities.
Governor Scott said, “Florida’s business climate is setting an example for the rest of the nation because of our investments in economic development, cutting taxes for families and job creators, and reducing burdensome regulations. Thanks to this unrelenting focus, Florida has the fastest private-sector job growth rate in the nation and has added more than 1.3 million jobs since December 2010. We will continue to fight to outcompete other locations for new jobs so Florida families can have the opportunities they need to succeed for generations to come.”
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “Governor Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget will help Florida continue to be the number one state to expand or start a business. Our investments in tax cuts, critical infrastructure and strong communities have helped build a thriving business environment that promotes innovation and job creation all across the state. This budget will ensure prosperity for Florida’s future and keep Florida as the best place to do business and raise a family.”
The Securing Florida’s Future budget includes:
$85 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund to Ensure Florida’s Infrastructure and Workforce Remain Competitive for Job Creation
- The Securing Florida’s Future budget invests $85 million in Florida’s Job Growth Grant Fund to meet the workforce and infrastructure needs of local communities. The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, which was established by Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature earlier this year, is designed to support projects for public infrastructure and workforce training projects that enhance growth and employment in Florida’s diverse industries. The fund is focused on projects that provide a strong, measurable return on investment. Job training and public infrastructure improvements will help Florida compete with other states for jobs and support economic development across the state.
$23.7 million for Enterprise Florida to Grow and Expand Businesses in Florida
- The Securing Florida’s Future budget will help diversify our economy by attracting high-skill, high-wage jobs and encouraging Florida businesses to expand within the Sunshine State. This will ensure Florida remains the best state to do business.
Peter Antonacci, President and CEO of Enterprise Florida, said, “Enterprise Florida is committed to investing in the state’s strong business climate and ensuring continued business expansion to provide opportunities for Florida families. We applaud Governor Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget and commitment to partnering with businesses to ensure economic success now and in the years to come.”
$100 million for VISIT FLORIDA to Promote Florida as the #1 Tourist Destination
- The Securing Florida’s Future budget invests $100 million for VISIT FLORIDA to market the state around the globe to highlight our distinctive and diverse vacation opportunities. Tourism has a vital impact on the state’s economy, and Florida saw a record number of 112 million visitors in 2016. Attracting visitors to the Sunshine State is especially important as the tourism industry recovers from the impacts of Hurricane Irma. For every dollar invested in VISIT FLORIDA, taxpayers see a return of $3.20.
Ken Lawson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, said, “VISIT FLORIDA is committed to promoting our state’s premier destinations at a great value to hardworking taxpayers. With the Securing Florida’s Future budget, VISIT FLORIDA will continue to market the state to visitors all across the globe, which helps to grow our state’s tourism industry and create jobs in a variety of diverse industries.”
$23 million to Develop the Top STEM Workforce in the Country
- The Securing Florida’s Future budget includes $20 million for the Quick Response Training (FloridaFlex) and $3 million for the Incumbent Worker Training Program in partnership with CareerSource Florida to continue investing in the state’s workforce by providing specialized training to keep Florida businesses competitive.
Michelle Dennard, CareerSource Florida President and CEO, said, “Governor Scott’s emphasis on workforce training is critical to further strengthen Florida’s competitive position in our global economy. With the proposed increase in Quick Response Training, CareerSource Florida will help thousands of Floridians enhance their skills and opportunities for a prosperous future.”
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce, said, “Governor Scott has made every effort to support Florida businesses, and his proposed budget to secure Florida’s future will help create jobs and economic opportunity for all Floridians.”
Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, said, “Florida’s tourism and hospitality industry has flourished under Gov. Scott’s leadership and supports more than 1.4 million jobs. We have seen record numbers of visitors and applaud him for standing with us and investing in our economy with his Securing Florida’s Future budget. His investments in tourism are critical after Hurricane Irma’s devastating impacts, we must let the world know that Florida is still the best place to visit.”
Bill Herrle, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business/Florida (NFIB), said, “Florida’s strong economy is dependent upon the success of small businesses. Governor Scott’s commitment to smart investments and efficient use of taxpayer dollars has allowed the Sunshine State’s business climate to thrive, bolstering the success of our state’s local companies.”
R. Scott Shalley, President and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation, said, “Florida’s retailers and consumers continue to prosper under Governor Scott’s leadership. The Securing Florida’s Future budget will ensure Florida’s economy will remain robust by strengthening tourism, developing an even more talented workforce and supporting the continued growth of Sunshine State businesses.”
Tom Feeney, President and CEO of the Associated Industries of Florida, said, “Governor Scott’s proposed economic investments will help create the ideal business climate for Florida companies to create new jobs and invest in communities. Businesses will be better equipped to employ jobseekers from Florida’s strong talent pool and skilled workforce.”