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Top Stories from April 23

April 23, 2009

Economic Development

Today, the Senate Policy and Steering Committee on Ways and Means unanimously approved SB 1502 Relating to Fast Track Economic Stimulus for Small Businesses by Senator Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey). This bill, will work towards creating jobs and stimulating economic activity across Florida while fostering growth in some of the most depressed areas of Florida.  Growth and economic activity are job drivers for the state’s economy, and this will create jobs and stimulate economic activity in the state while fostering growth in some of the most depressed areas of Florida.  By drawing private capital investment into the state by a program that would match it with state incentives, this legislation is a perfect way to help jump start Florida’s economy and can get it back on track by investing in Florida’s businesses. The bill, arguably one of the session's most innovative stimulus bills, would encourage venture capital into the state and draw down millions in available federal funds. 

AIF has worked on this legislation for two years running, and Jose L. Gonzalez, AIF’s Vice President of Governmental Affairs, urged the committee to support the bill today stating that it is a top priority of AIF and its members.

SB 1502 will now be considered on the Senate floor. The House companion, HB 485 by Representative Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel), will be considered on the House floor tomorrow.

AIF is an ardent supporter of this legislation.  Not only will this create jobs and stimulate economic activity in the state, but it will also foster growth in some of the most depressed areas of Florida.  Growth and economic activity are job drivers for the state’s economy and programs like the New Markets Development Program are just one way that Florida’s economy can get back on track.


Taxation

AIF is in the midst of a battle to defeat a bad corporate income tax bill SB 2546 Relating to Corporate Income Taxes by Sen. Thad Altman (R-Melbourne).  The bill makes drastic changes to Florida’s corporate income tax structure, which would cost companies doing business in Florida hundreds of millions in increased taxes.  The bill contains close to thirteen different provisions that would change how companies apportion income for the purposes of paying Florida corporate income taxes.  The provisions are described as ways to close “corporate loopholes” in actuality they are changes that would bring in a tremendous amount of new revenue to the state.

Today, the bill was unexpectedly placed on the agenda for the Senate Ways and Means Committee (the bill’s last committee of reference).  The AIF team sounded the alarm and Sen. Mike Haridopolos (R-Melbourne) made his concerns known to the Senate President.  The bill was eventually TP’ed (meaning no action was taken) thanks in part to the actions of Sen. Haridopolos.  Associated Industries of Florida would like to thank Sen. Haridopolos for standing with the business community and demanding that the bill not be heard.  While we won this battle, the war is certainly not over.  We must keep the pressure on the Senate to abandon this proposal, which would have a chilling effect on any future invest of capital or resources in Florida.

AIF strongly opposes this bill because it is overly broad and discourages investment; and therefore, economic development in the state.  Moreover, the bill includes provisions that no other competing state currently has making Florida at a real disadvantage when competing for jobs with our neighboring states.