Governor Scott on Wednesday announced the creation of 100 jobs by Volkswagen in Jacksonville. This got me to thinking, given the success of other southern states in attracting manufacturing jobs, how has Rick Scott’s tax abatement scheme of 2013 done?
The VW jobs are not at all related to manufacturing as Florida’s economy is service based and the growing import/export sector has benefited directly from the state’s proximity to water and our large number of deep water ports. These VW jobs are a bi-product of the import/export business and the natural assets of Jacksonville harbor.
The futile effort to attract manufacturing jobs spearheaded by Governor Scott and rubber-stamped by the legislature could in fact be damaging nd expensive side show, taking the focus off what is important in our service based economy. The $115 million in tax breaks have yielded little to this point.
Last month, the National Association of Manufactures released state-by-state data that indicates Florida is continuing to struggle to create employment in the manufacturing sector. Florida employs a smaller percentage of its workforce in manufacturing jobs than any other southern state or than any other mega-state.
Almost two years on from the tax credit being passed the impact has been negligible. Given Florida Republicans poor record of job creation and attracting new business to the state, it should be no surprise this scheme has yet to work.