Governor candidates offer two approaches to job creation: cut or enhance
Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Alex Sink are both CEOs-turned-politicians who agree that Florida needs to revamp economic incentives, provide tax breaks, and streamline regulations. But they fundamentally disagree on how to do it. More here.
Dominic Calabro, president of Florida TaxWatch the non-profit, business-backed tax watchdog group, says there's a lot for voters to like in Scott and Sink's plans. Both of them bring the ``street smarts'' of an executive who has met a payroll, he said.
But, Calabro added that voters could use more details. ``They're a good start but you need to get more specific.''
Although Scott pledges to create 700,000 jobs in seven years, he admits the number is rounded up from his estimate of 662,000 and calls it "very conservative." After we noted that the state's economists have projected the anticipated economic recovery would create 775,000 new jobs within the next four years and one million in seven years, regardless of who is elected governor, Scott spokeswoman Jen Baker said their job creation number is on top of that.
"Rick [Scott] is more: `Let's ring out the costs' and Alex [Sink] is `Let's create value-added','' Calabro said. "Rick is probably going to challenge the whole system more, but they're both a great breath of fresh air. They approach it from different attitudes.''
Below are some of the ideas Florida's candidates for governor have proposed to create jobs:Republican Rick Scott
* Reduce government by reducing state workforce 5.5 percent to 3 percent in the first year and half a percent each year thereafter.
* Eliminate overlapping state economic agencies.
* Cut government spending at least $6 billion, rolling state and local government spending to 2004 levels.
* Reduce statewide property taxes by 1 mill, $1.4 billion, in first year, paid for through reviving the economy;
reduce taxes another 1 mill phased in over time.
* Reduce energy costs by requiring utilities to purchase more power from out of state, provide credits for conservation and increase the long-term investment in nuclear power.
* Change incentive structure for energy markets in Florida by reforming regulation at Public Service Commission.
* Make unemployment benefits more affordable.
* Freeze all regulations and eliminate those that are too costly.
* Expedite permiting for job-related businesses.
* Bring health insurance costs in line with the U.S. average.
Democrat Alex Sink:
* Allow small and start-up businesses to defer state corporate income taxes for first three years when they are most vulnerable to failing.
* Use $2 billion of Florida Retirement System's $130 billion in assets for high-tech investments in life sciences,
clean energy and aerospace/aviation.
* Give businesses that employ Floridians a competitive advantage when seeking state contracts.
* Give businesses that create 20 new jobs in Florida during next three years a dollar-for-dollar tax credit to offset the increase in their federal payroll taxes.
* Create incentives for venture capital investing and micro-loans.
* Create a small-business ombudsman in governor's office.
* Accelerate the pace at which products developed at universities can be sold on commercial markets and provide customized training of students at community colleges and universities aimed at certain employers.
* Aggressively market the state as retirement destination.
* Expand availability of state-guaranteed loans for exporters.
* Create Energy Finance Districts that offer residents and businesses loans to retrofit properties with energy-efficient systems.
To learn more about each candidate's jobs plan, go to their websites:
For Republican Rick Scott, go to www.rickscottforflorida.com, and click on Jobs.
For Democrat Alex Sink, go to www.alexsink2010.com, and click Agenda, then Jobs and Economy.