HB 7005-Relating to Economic Programs
On Monday, March 6th, HB 7005, relating to Economic Programs, sponsored by the House Careers & Competition Subcommittee and Representative Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast), was heard by the House Rules & Policy Committee and passed by a vote of 15 yeas to 3 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, spoke in opposition of this bill.
On Friday, March 10th, HB 7005 was read for a third time on the House floor and passed by a vote of 87 yeas to 28 nays.
This legislation threatens to eliminate ALL incentive programs that help many of Florida’s businesses and economy thrive, specifically incentives for;
- Enterprise Florida,
- The Qualified Defense and Space Contractors tax refund,
- The Qualified Target Industry business tax refund,
- The Quick Action Closing fund, and
- The Office of Film & Entertainment and entertainment industry tax programs.
Enacting this legislation would be detrimental to not only our state’s economy but our tourism industry, an industry that sets Florida apart from the rest. However, contrary to the bills previous hearings, an amendment by the sponsor was adopted to take VISIT Florida off of the list above and is now being dealt with within its own bill, HB 9 (see below).
HB 7005 will now go to the Senate floor to be heard.
AIF OPPOSES removing agency incentives as it would result in an economic downturn for Florida.
HB 9-Relating to Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation
On Monday, March 6th, HB 9, relating to Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, by Representative Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) was heard by the House Rules & Policy Committee and passed by a vote of 15 yeas to 2 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs stood in opposition to this bill.
On Friday, March 10th, HB 9 was read for a third time on the House floor and passed by a vote of 80 yeas to 35 nays.
The bill moves the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation (dba VISIT Florida) from the supervision of Enterprise Florida, Inc., to the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in an attempt to revamp Visit Florida. The bill also modifies current law to provide greater accountability and oversight of Visit Florida.
HB 9 will now go to the Senate floor to be heard.
Please see the below statement from our President & CEO, Tom Feeney, released on Monday, March 6th, regarding AIF’s opposition to HB 7005 and HB 9:
AIF Opposes Termination of EFI & Revamp of VISIT FLORIDA
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) today released the following statement on behalf of its President & CEO Tom Feeney regarding the opposition to House Bill 9, by Representative Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast), relating to Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, and House Bill 7005, by the House Careers & Competition Subcommittee, relating to Economic Programs. HB 9 and HB 7005 were today heard in the House Rules & Policy Committee.
“These two bills, HB 9 and HB 7005, that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and revamp VISIT FLORIDA are detrimental to Florida’s employers and employees. Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA contribute immensely to our economy, cultivating a competitive and innovative business environment that maximizes revenues and our job base.
“As these bills head to the House floor, we encourage an open dialogue among our state’s leaders on the importance of transparency and accountability measures, but we must continue to have and fund these good public-private partnerships that are vital in making Florida the No. 1 destination to do business.”
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