According to Florida Tax Watch, the Revenue Estimating Conference met on April 6 and increased Florida’s general revenue projections by $1.476 billion in the current budget year and $551 million in FY2021-22. This development makes an extra $2 billion available for the next budget.
Also, last week, the House and Senate approved their respective budgets (HB 5001 and SB 2500), setting the stage for conference negotiations. The House budget total is $97.078 billion, and the Senate total is $94.958 billion.
Neither budget includes funds from the $10 billion Florida will be receiving from the federal American Rescue Plan. However, the House does appropriate almost $8 billion as an addendum to its bill for a variety of programs, including $3.5 billion for deferred maintenance of state buildings and schools and $2.0 billion for transportation projects. The Senate budget does not address the additional federal funding.
Carolyn Johnson, Director of Business, Economic Development and Innovation Policy at the Florida Chamber, highlighted items to note in both budgets during the FEDC Board of Directors meeting last week.
Quick Response Training, which received $9M in FY2020-21, currently sits at $7.5M in both chambers.
Contractual Payments for Economic Development Tools such as QTI, HIPI, Brownfields, and QDSC programs are at $24.5M in the Senate budget bill and $20.5M in the House bill, down from $25.725 in FY2020-21.
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, which was swept during the pandemic and returned to general revenue, was allocated $26M by the Senate.
Neither chamber addressed the Road Fund.
Enterprise Florida’s operating budget is $16M in this current fiscal year. The Senate budget currently recommends $12.8M, while the House is at $14.4M.
Space Florida is poised to maintain the FY2020-21 appropriation of $12.5M. The House recommendation stays at $12.5M and the Senate slightly below that at $11.25M. However, the Space Florida infrastructure fund is farther apart, with the Senate recommending $3M and the House at the current $6M.
Both chambers recommend continuing Visit Florida funding at $50M for FY2021-22.
FEDC is also following a series of bills, HB 1505/1507 and related SB 366, addressing workforce programs, services, and educational opportunities leading to employment.
Missing from this list is QTI, the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund program, which FEDC has elevated this session before the legislative members via direct outreach to the Speaker of the House and the Senate President. Repeal of the sunset of this program has yet to be heard in any House Committees.
It has passed unanimously out of two Senate committees and is awaiting agenda in Senate Appropriations. For this repeal to be considered in a potential tax package, we need your organization to reach out to your legislative delegations.
Provided below are resources developed by Enterprise Florida to share with your stakeholders. Please make your calls, emails, and texts now!
Please share this messaging from EFI with your stakeholders. (PDF infographic pages are below.)
QTI and Florida Job Creation
The Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund incentive was created for companies that create high-wage jobs in targeted high value-added industries.
How Does QTI Help Floridians?
Hundreds of businesses have participated in the QTI Tax Refund program, creating thousands of jobs for Floridians.
• More Important Than Ever
As legislative and business leaders across the state look to rebuild Florida's economy from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing tools like the QTI Tax Refund encourage businesses to look at our state for job creation projects.
• Changing Lives
More than 70 percent of job creation projects established through the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) over the last four years have utilized the QTI Tax Refund program, creating more jobs for Floridians. Many of these high-wage jobs may not have been created without the availability of the QTI Tax Refund program.
• Retaining Talent
Job creation allows recent graduates across the state to find a job in Florida’s high-wage, high-growth targeted industries, and securing the state's highly-skilled workforce.
• Quality of Life
Better jobs mean a higher quality of life, stability, and a brighter future for Floridians.
QTI Quick Facts
This highly-utilized tax refund program is an economic tool used to create diversified and resilient local economies.
By focusing on the qualified targeted industries, Florida can diversify our economy, allowing for more resiliency during economic downturns.
QTI Tax Refunds are only paid once jobs are created, taxes are paid, and performance is verified by DEO through a two-step validation process that includes an independent third-party auditor.
How Does QTI Work?
• The QTI Tax Refund program has been available for companies that create high-wage jobs in targeted high value-added industries.
• Pre-approved applicants who create jobs in Florida receive tax refunds of $3,000 for each net new Florida full-time equivalent job created; $6,000 in a rural community (county).
• The selected local community contributes 20 percent of the total tax refund.
TARGET INDUSTRIES Developed per FS 288.106(2)q
• Corporate Headquarters
• Financial/Professional Services
• Information Technology
• Homeland Security/Defense
• Life Sciences
• Logistics & Distribution
STATE OF FLORIDA TOTALS (active & completed projects)
Net New High-Wage Jobs Documented to Date: 79,985
For every $1 the state of Florida invests in businesses, $4.34 is generated (source: EDR, Jan 2020)
Net New High-Wage Jobs Documented to Date: 2,709
Project Examples: Adecco USA, American Elite Molding, Cheney Brothers, Danfoss, Beast Code
Here is a great explainer video developed by the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) to showcase the roles and impact of regional workforce boards. Please share it with anyone who needs a better understanding of this valuable resource.