Gov. Rick Scott has issued a three-part statement to counter a three-part hit piece by the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald on his job’s record.
In the first press release issued by the governor’s office to rebut the Times/Herald series “Jobs in Florida: The Rick Scott record”:
“Governor Scott continues to implement economic policies to spur the creation of jobs in Florida for generations to come. Remarkably, Florida added 46,400 new private sector jobs in just the month of October 2013 – more than any other state in the country.
“Just one part of Florida’s job growth under Governor Scott is attributed to competitive economic incentive deals – where Florida competes with other states for business investment and job creation by investing state funds. When Florida wins these competitive deals, companies enter into contracts with the state outlining their job creation/investment obligations before state taxpayer dollars are invested.
“In total, Florida job creators have created 440,900 private sector jobs since Governor Scott took office, and the state’s unemployment rate decreased by 4.4 percentage points to 6.7 percent since December 2010. This represents an incredible economic turnaround for Florida, especially when compared to the more than 800,000 Florida jobs lost in the four years before Governor Scotttook office.” – Melissa Sellers, Communications Director, Governor Rick Scott
EVERY CONTRACT FOR INCENTIVE FUNDS HAS UNIQUE TIMELINE
Jobs are not immediately created after a project is announced because many companies are making long-term investments that could require time for the construction of buildings, infrastructure, or the fulfillment of local, federal, or other regulatory permits and requirements.
Each incentive contract has its own job creation schedule, as well as a job maintenance schedule. When a business enters into an incentive agreement with DEO, it is not uncommon for the first job creation phase to begin the calendar year following the year the agreement is executed. The timing depends on when the contract is executed (earlier or later in the year) and the business’ unique job creation schedule.
Incentive agreement requirements are typically phased in and met over multiple years, and performance is measured and verified annually to ensure progress. Most agreements contain between five to 10 scheduled performance years.
TAX DOLLARS TIED TO PERFORMANCE
Before making any state investment, the state performs due diligence on each company, considers the scope of their proposed project, and negotiates specific terms of an agreement. These agreements are designed on a case-by-case basis, accounting for a company’s unique job creation/capital investment goals. Most competitive incentive agreements fall under the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program. This program is designed to create high wage jobs in targeted high value-added industries. No state money is invested under this program without companies meeting their specific performance measures for job creation/capital investment.
To accurately assess the success of incentive projects, jobs due versus jobs confirmed must be measured. Since Governor Scott took office, 135 incentive projects have been approved and have executed agreements. Of the active projects, 3,013 jobs are currently due. To date, 2,022 jobs have already been confirmed from the active projects and terminated projects with confirmed performance, and confirmations are continuing daily.
Additionally, Ernst & Young recently conducted an independent review of Florida’s incentive programs since its inception. The report noted that from FY 1996 through the second quarter of FY 2013, the state confirmed $3.2 billion in capital investment – or approximately $20 million in capital investment for every $1 million in state incentive payments.
FLORIDA NOT COMPETITIVE WHEN GOVERNOR TOOK OFFICE
Florida was not considered a competitive state on significant economic deals when Governor Scott took office. In 2010, the Governor met with economic consultants who said that Florida was considered for only about 1 out of 20 competitive projects. The state now competes for about 1 out of 4 economic projects.
FLORIDA IS NOW COMPETITIVE
Florida’s record of competitive job creation wins continues to grow at a remarkable pace. Including:
Hertz Corporation – Estero
New worldwide corporate headquarters
700 new jobs, $68.75 million in capital investment
Northrop Grumman – St. Augustine & Melbourne
New Florida Centers of Excellence in St. Augustine and Melbourne
More than 1,000 new jobs
Navy Federal Credit Union – Pensacola
World’s largest credit union
700 new jobs; $6 million in capital investment announced in 2012
1,500 new jobs, $200 million in capital investment announced in 2013
Verizon – Lake Mary
Creation of a finance and accounting “Center of Excellence”
750 new jobs; $50 million in capital investment
o Boeing – Titusville
Manufacture and assemble its CST-100 spacecraft for launches
550 new jobs; $163 million in capital investment
The nation is taking notice of Florida’s economic momentum under Governor Scott:
- CEO Magazine ranked Florida the second best state in the nation for business.
- National Chamber Foundation ranked Florida as having the number one talent pipeline in the nation.
- Area Development magazine awarded Florida the Silver Shovel award for significant job creation and economic impact and recognized Florida as the number one state for renewed consideration post-recession.
- Fast Company named Florida the No. 1 state for innovation in its May 2013 magazine.
- In August, Business Facilities Magazine ranked Florida’s business climate the second-best in the country, finishing just behind Texas. The Magazine stated, “Florida surged into the Number 2 slot on the strength of Gov. Rick Scott’s pledge to drastically cut back on business regulations and red tape …“
- And in August, credit rating agency Fitch affirmed Florida GO bonds at ‘AAA,’ and revised its outlook from negative to stable.
- Forbes ranked Florida in the top 5 for the best states for future job growth.