Speaking at a precision-metal and plastics fabricator company in suburban Orlando, Scott also vowed to clean up Florida's troubled workforce development boards and prioritize education spending on technology, engineering and mathematics.
The Republican governor doubled down on business tax relief enacted earlier this year by proposing to:
- Increase the corporate income tax exemption from $25,000 to $50,000, on the way to phasing out the levy altogether.
- Reduce the tangible personal property tax, currently paid by more than 300,000 business owners. Scott said he will ask the 2012 Legislature to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to exempt any business with less than $50,000 in tangible personal property, effectively eliminating the tax for more than 150,000 businesses.
- Tighten scrutiny on the state's special taxing districts that collect $15.4 billion in revenues annually.
Though Florida has gained 87,000 private-sector jobs since he took office in January, more than 900,000 Floridians remain out of work.
"Our state’s economy is changing, and the jobs that are being created are different from the jobs that were lost during the economic downturn. The skills of the unemployed do not always match the current and future job market," Scott told an audience at Metal Essence in Longwood.
"If we are serious about getting people back to work, that begins with re-purposing our unemployment compensation system to become a re-employment system. Rather than merely helping make ends meet for families in the short run, we are instead focused on identifying jobs and getting Floridians prepared for their next job opportunity," he said.
Scott proposes to incorporate required job training for those on unemployment.
"This will be accomplished by creating a re-employment system that proactively works with unemployed Floridians to assess the compatibility of their skills with current and future job opportunities and provides them with the training and career education opportunities that facilitates career advancement, increased productivity and economic prosperity," the governor said.
The five other points in his seven-point plan call for:
- Streamlining business permitting and eliminating burdensome rules and regulations.
- Restoring accountability and credibility to Florida’s workforce boards.
- Prioritizing vital transportation projects to facilitate economic development opportunities.
- Offering stability to Florida businesses by balancing the budget without raising taxes.
- Prioritizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics in education.
"More repeals are scheduled, with plans to expedite many of the repeals through proposed legislation in the 2012 session. In addition, agencies identified approximately 1,500 rule revisions that can be made to reduce overly burdensome, unnecessary or duplicative regulations," Scott reported.
The governor promised, however, that there was one thing his "Job Creation and Economic Growth Agenda" would not do.
"I will not propose new government spending or programs to 'stimulate' job growth.
"Instead, this plan focuses on removing the barriers to beginning, relocating and growing a business in our state. We will attract new jobs by consistently letting businesses know through our actions that we want Florida to be their home," he said.
Contact Kenric Ward at email@example.com or at (772) 801-5341.