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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

1,200 new jobs for Pasco at risk in House budget?




UPDATE: Mary Jane Stanley, president of the Pasco Economic Development Council, says the expansion should not be affected. While she was still checking, the last information was that T. Rowe Price wanted to tap another incentive fund.

And Fasano said he spoke to state economic development officials, who told him T. Rowe Price would tap a separate fund, too.

A budget-cut proposal by Florida House lawmakers includes cutting $5-million set aside for Pasco County to recruit high-paying jobs.

State Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, criticized the House proposal today as playing "games."

One big reason: The money could be part of a $14.5-million incentive package approved in November by Pasco to coax T. Rowe Price to build an investment services complex in Land O'Lakes. It would mean 435 jobs would move from Tampa and 1,215 more would be created. The company called Pasco its preferred site, though it has told state officials that four other states are being considered.

"The Senate has included the money. The Senate has no intention of cutting those dollars," said Fasano, who wrote the money into the budget last spring.

The reaction of County Commissioner Michael Cox, who has participated in the company's recruitment?

"Great," he said tongue in cheek.

He said it was uncertain whether Pasco could make up the difference. "It would depend on what else they do to us," he said. "It depends on whether they're going to continue to balance the budget on the backs of local government."

David DeCamp, Times Staff Writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:43am]


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