Victory for Transparency!

Just this morning Senate President Mike Haridopolos committed to a formal study reviewing the effectiveness of economic development incentives, tax credits, exemptions, and subsidies.

“All session long we’ve been pushing for an honest review of the tax dollars given away to corporations at the expense of hard working middle class families,” said Fair Economy State Director Afifa Khaliq. “Better late than never, this study is a great leap forward in our effort to build a fair economy.”

The commitment was made after an amendment offered by Senator Eleanor Sobel (D- Hollywood) was discussed on the Senate floor. Earlier this week, incoming Senate President Don Gaetz also publicly committed to increasing transparency within the newly created economic development website. The language of the amendment was as follows:

“To ensure transparency and accountability for the expenditure of tax dollars, an interim study shall be conducted by the Finance and Tax Committee, the Commerce Committee, or the Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Committee, as designated by the presiding officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives, in consultation with Florida Tax Watch, the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy, and other interested parties, to determine the effectiveness of the state’s economic development tax incentives, including exemptions, credits, subsidies, or grants, in achieving job creation and growth state.”

This would accomplish one of the goals of the Fair Economy Act to “make sure any taxpayer money secured by companies promising jobs actually goes towards creating jobs, not more bonuses for CEOs.”

The previous day, hundreds of Floridians made their voice heard in the capital, asking legislators “whose side are you on” and rallying outside the Capitol. Here are some articles about the event:

http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/Protestors_Rally_for_the_Middle_Class_141981523.html

http://floridaindependent.com/72537/labor-groups-march-on-capitol-to-protest-budget-cuts

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/capitol-protest?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tampabaycom%2Fblogs%2Fbuzz+%28The+Buzz+%7C+tampabay.com%29


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