Biz recruitment spending: It’s all relative

Florida business recruitment leaders are trying to put together benchmarks to compare the state’s spending against competitors.

Members of the Enterprise Florida’s Business Development Committee on Monday said they intend to put together a list of staffing and spending in other states.

The will give Florida’s public-private agency the chance to see where it stands against North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama — states that have most often provided recruitment competition.

One committee member joked that “If you want to feel good, add Illinois.”

New York, meanwhile, was ruled out because of a spending disparity between the states.

As part of a March 13, 2017 study looking to make economic development more transparent in the Empire State, the Citizens Budget Commission noted that state and local governments in New York spend $8.6 billion annually through direct spending and tax expenditures.

Back in the Sunshine State, the state-by-state spending comparisons come as Enterprise Florida has been forced by state legislators to reduce its ability to offer direct business incentives to individual companies in favor of the “Florida Jobs Growth Grant Fund.”

The fund set up an $85 million pool of money for regional infrastructure and job-training programs to help entice businesses to Florida, and came after major infighting between Florida Gov. Rick Scott and fellow Republican House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who called the tax incentives to lure businesses to the state “corporate welfare.”

By Jim Turner.