Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Rick Scott agency wants $230 million for job incentive pot

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's agency in charge of enticing businesses to create jobs with cash incentives wants $230 million in 2012, 21/2 times the amount lawmakers set aside this year. But the same agency is having trouble keeping track of what's already been spent.

On Thursday, the Department of Economic Opportunity acknowledged that St. Petersburg-based Jabil Circuit never received $12.4 million the state said it did.

The company was one of six that several state documents showed had received a total of $23 million but not produced the promised jobs. Now, the state says Jabil's cash is in an escrow account.

"We apologize for the confusion," DEO spokesman James Miller said in an email.

Scott's new department has been struggling to wrap its arms around more than $739 million in incentives the state has paid since 1995 to companies like Walmart, Walgreens and Coca-Cola to create jobs.

The state has confirmed 86,284 jobs have been created with that money, or about a third of what the deals were supposed to generate. State officials say most of the contracts pay out only after jobs are created, which means tax incentives were not awarded unless new hires were confirmed.

But state officials said six companies, including Jabil, had received a total of $23.3 million from a cash fund and fallen short of their jobs promise.

Multiple records provided by the state show Jabil received $12.4 million in 2008 as part of a deal ultimately worth $37.1 million in state and local incentives.

In return for the money, the company promised to remain in St. Petersburg and invest $49 million in a new 400,000-square-foot building plus $5 million in equipment. The company said that would help create 800 new jobs and retain an additional 1,900 with an average wage of $50,222, according to state records.

Jabil was unable to meet those promises, so the state granted a two-year extension that runs out on Dec. 31. The state and the company are in negotiations to extend the deal for another two years.

Meanwhile, the agency is asking lawmakers for $230 million in incentives for next year, according to budget documents released Wednesday.

That compares to the $93 million the Legislature approved for the agency this year despite cutting overall spending by $1.4 billion. (Scott originally had requested $300 million in 2011 and $500 million in 2012.) Lawmakers are expecting a budget shortfall of $1.9 billion when they officially open the 2012 legislative session in January.

The budget request has not received a hearing. But some Republican lawmakers are considering rewriting a law that allows the state to hide details about incentive deals for up to two years.

Michael C. Bender can be reached at or (850) 224-7263. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelCBender.

New Rick Scott agency wants $230 million for job incentive pot 11/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 10, 2011 10:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. CIA chief: Intel leaks on the rise amid 'worship' of leakers


    WASHINGTON — CIA director Mike Pompeo says he thinks disclosure of America's secret intelligence is on the rise, fueled partly by the "worship" of leakers like Edward Snowden.

    CIA director Mike Pompeo said the U.S. must redouble its efforts to stop information from leaking.
  2. ABC Racing kennel advances three into semifinals


    ST. PETERSBURG — The maiden voyage by Don Burk into the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby series — his first as the ABC Racing kennel owner — went as easy as ABC.

  3. Why Grenfell tower burned: Regulators put cost before safety


    The doorbell woke Yassin Adam just before 1 a.m. A neighbor was frantically alerting others on the fourth floor of Grenfell Tower about a fire in his apartment. "My fridge blew up," the man shouted.

    At least 79 people were killed in the fire at the Grenfell Tower apartment building in London, and the toll is expected to rise.
  4. Bullpen melts down as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jacob Faria allowed his first two big-league home runs and was touched for a career-high three runs Saturday by the Orioles. Other than that, the rookie making his fourth major-league start did okay against the Baltimore bats.

    The bullpen, not so much.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Baltimore Orioles scored four runs during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 24, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) SPD118
  5. Lightning shifts search for defense to free agency

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — As much as he tried, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman left the weekend's draft without acquiring another top-four defenseman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101