Report: Enterprise Florida has misused million in taxpayer money - FOX 13 News

Report: Enterprise Florida has misused million in taxpayer money

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TALLAHASSEE (FOX 13) -

A scathing new report blasts Florida's economic development agency as a costly failure that has misused hundreds of millions of your tax dollars.

The report calls Enterprise Florida the state's most glaring example of cronyism and corruption over the past 20 years.

The study from Washington D.C.-based Good Jobs First accuses Enterprise Florida of selling seats on its board of directors to corporations for $50,000 and then awarding those companies taxpayer-funded subsidies and contracts.

The report also finds Enterprise Florida has handed out $700 million in incentives to companies since 1996 and, in return, the state has received less than half of the 200,000 high-paying jobs originally promised.

Dan Krassner of government watchdog group Integrity Florida says Floridians deserve more accountability and transparency from the agency.

"Floridians should look at Enterprise Florida as a failed model. Privatizing the state's commerce department and giving our taxpayer money away to this privatized group to hand out subsidies just hasn't worked, it hasn't produced the jobs that Floridians need," Krassner said.

Enterprise Florida disputes the report's findings.

The agency says it was able to create or retain more than 25,000 jobs last year and attract nearly $2 billion of investment in Florida.

This year state lawmakers cut funding for Enterprise Florida's incentives program from $110 million to $45 million.

"Florida has more than 600,000 out-of-work Floridians looking for jobs, wanting jobs. They're tired of the promises and IOU's. They want real job results."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Enterprise Florida: Job creation or corporate welfare?

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