Sen. Fasano and Rep. Weatherford: Governor Crist has Signed Florida New Markets Development Program into Law

May 21, 2009

State Senator Mike Fasano and State Representative Will Weatherford: Governor Crist has Signed Florida New Markets Development Program into Law

Senator Mike Fasano and Representative Will Weatherford announce that Governor Charlie Crist has signed HB 485, which creates the Florida New Markets Development Program, intolaw today.

Developed at the federal level under President Clinton and Speaker Hastert, there is a $26 billion program that encourages investments in low‐income communities across the country.

Presently Florida ranks 25th in the nation in these investments.

HB 485, Fast Track Economic Stimulus for Small Business — the Florida New Markets Development Program, was created to help encourage greater investment in Florida. The legislation provides a tax credit at the state‐level. The legislation follows the highly successful federal model, using a structure familiar to investors and regulated by the U.S. Department of Treasury. It creates a unique economic development tool that relies on a market‐based approach to expand credit and capital to Florida’s low income communities.

Florida’s program is distinctive in that the state investment will not be made unless private sector dollars are deployed in low‐income communities. According to a recent study, this program will immediately attract $250 million in PRIVATE SECTOR investment throughout the state. Over the life of the incentive $500 million will be invested in Florida’s small businesses.

It has the potential to create 4,200 jobs annually, increase Florida’s GDP by $633 million per year, create $6.3 billion of economic output over the life of the program and in excess of $300 million in tax revenues (Source: Washington Economics Group study).

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has documented the power of New Markets to leverage private investments at a 13:1 ratio, bringing high‐impact economic growth to low income communities. The objective is simple; to leverage federal tax credits and piggy back a state incentive to attract private sector investor dollars and thus create immediate access to capital for small businesses in Florida’s low‐income communities.

“The potential positive economic impact on Florida’s economic is great,” Senator Fasano states. “I applaud Representative Weatherford for leading the charge to encourage investment in Florida’s lower income communities. This bill will help propel Florida’s business climate forward while providing needed assistance to communities most in need.”

“One of my biggest priorities for this legislative session was to sponsor legislation that will create jobs in the state of Florida,” Representative Weatherford states. “I want to see people working. This legislation will be a significant way to positively change the direction of Florida’s economy. Creation of the Florida New Markets Development Program will ensure that jobs will become available and Florida’s economy will get a needed boost.”