TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Jobs, tax cuts and incentives for small businesses were the focus of Governor Rick Scott’s 2016 State of the State address.
During the speech, Scott pointed out that since he was first elected in 2010, the state’s unemployment rate has steadily declined. He said the number of jobs in the state have gone up and we must continue to keep job creation going strong.
To achieve this, according to the governor, Florida must continue what it has done over the last five years – diversify the economy and help small businesses grow by creating a new $250 million Florida Enterprise Fund.
One of the key issues for Scott will be to persuade a divided legislature into passing his one billion dollar tax cut package. That package includes a plan to reduce taxes, rather than cutting property taxes, because Scott said the state needs to keep adding jobs.
“I believe that the best way to help our weakest, our poorest, and our most disadvantaged neighbors live their dreams is to help them get a job,” said Scott. “A job is the number one way to change any person’s life for the better and today, I am proud to report to you, that the State of Florida is in one word, “growing!”
Scott added that his tax cut plan would also help shield the state from another recession.
Florida Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Wilson said he supports the governor’s tax cut proposal.
“Florida has added one million new jobs in five years. And nationally, one in 11 jobs that were added in 2015 were added in Florida. We have cut taxes 50 times in five years in Florida. And every time we cut taxes, contrary to what a lot of people would like to believe, our economy grows. And when our economy grows, we actually generate more tax revenue.”
SEIU Florida, which represents over 55,000 healthcare professionals, public employees, and property service workers in the state, said the governor has missed the mark.
“The solutions are there, but Gov. Scott and Republican legislators are choosing to pass laws that harm working Floridians instead of protecting them, like proposing a $770 million tax-cut for big business while shifting the burden on the people,” said SEIU Florida President Monica Russo in a statement. “More than 4 million Floridians would benefit from raising the minimum wage to $15, and a vast majority of underpaid Floridians are voters. It is time for Florida legislators to step up to the plate and support underpaid Floridians struggling to make ends meet, or get out of the way.”