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Daily Legislative Brief from January 14, 2020

Economic Development

SB 848 – Relating to Rural Communities

On Tuesday, January 14, SB 848 by Senator Bill Montford (D-Quincy) was heard in the Senate Commerce & Tourism Committee and was reported favorably with 5 yeas and 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines urban areas as areas of 50,000 or more population and urban clusters of at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 population. Additionally, the Bureau considers anything that is not an urban area to be rural. Geographically, 86.2% of Florida’s land lies in rural areas but only 8.8% of Florida’s population lives in those rural areas.

The bill creates the “Florida Rural Job and Business Recovery Act.” The bill uses tax credits against the state insurance premium tax to incentivize investors to give funds to certified growth fund entities that, in turn, will make capital or equity investments, or loans with a maturity date of at least one year, in growth businesses (businesses that, among other qualifications, employee less than 200) located in non-urbanized areas of the state.

SB 848 will now move to the Senate Finance & Tax Committee.

AIF supports efforts to increase economic development in Florida’s rural areas by increasing job growth.