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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida 3rd most business-friendly state; Scott says not good enough

Gov. Rick Scott's communications office once killed a press release from the Department of Education that boasted about Florida's 5th place ranking by Education Week. The reason? News that Florida schools were in good shape didn't square with Scott's message of reform.

Meanwhile, Florida recently climbed Chief Executive magazine's rankings for "Best/Worst States for Business." At first blush, Florida's #3 standing appears to contradict Scott's message that the state has too many regulations and too many taxes; The magazine gives Florida four stars out of five for both areas.

The spin today Scott's office: Florida needs to be No. 1. To that end, Scott penned a tongue-in-cheek letter to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, warning him that Florida is coming after the Lone Star State's top ranking, a position it has held for seven consecutive years. Here's the letter:

Dear Governor Perry:

It is with great sincerity that I extend my heartfelt congratulations to you and the rest of the Lone Star State on being named the top state for job growth and business development by Chief Executive Magazine.  You understand, as I do, that government doesn’t create jobs; it creates an environment where businesses can expand and grow.

Not only have you achieved this top ranking this year, you have achieved it seven years in a row. Like everything else Texas does, you have done it in a BIG way.

However, I must tell you:  Seven years is long enough.

Be aware that same survey of CEOs ranked Florida’s business friendly environment third in the nation, up from sixth last year. While we are grateful to move up three places, Florida will not settle for third place.

In our 21st century economy, business owners can do business anywhere. Every entrepreneur is searching for the best place to get the greatest return on their investment, the best workforce, and the most convenient location. In addition, if possible, they’d like that place to also be a great place to live.

Well, my friend, Florida is already the best place to live. In fact, millions of people from around the world visit Florida and dream of enjoying our great weather, beaches, fishing, and culture year round. And with all we are doing to make Florida number one in job creation, I am certain Texas’ days at the top are numbered.

Florida is eliminating job killing regulation, reducing the size and cost of government, and making sure we have the best educated workforce.  We have no personal income tax and are phasing out the business tax, starting with eliminating it entirely for half the business that paid it. Florida is definitely on the road to be number one. Thank you for giving us the motivation we needed.

Sincerely,

Rick Scott

[Last modified: Thursday, May 19, 2011 12:27pm]

    

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