Florida Lures Connecticut Companies With Radio Ads [NBC]

June 24, 2015


Joining the likes of Indiana, Georgia, and Texas, Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s economic development arm has purchased radio ad time to recruit Connecticut companies to move to the Sunshine State.

The ads from Enterprise Florida are simple. They preach an environment of low taxes, no required union membership and an overall better business environment.

“Connecticut recently increased taxes… again… this time, by over $1 billion,” the ad starts. “Florida has no state income tax and has cut taxes more than 40 times over the last 4 years. Unlike Connecticut, Florida is a right-to-work state with no estate or gift tax. If you are a business that wants to pay less taxes so you can earn more money, come to Florida.”

The 30-second spots are airing on radio stations across Connecticut in the wake of a budget battle that’s led to a tug-of-war when it comes to the implementation of new or higher business taxes.

Earlier in June, officials with the state of Indiana took out a whole-page ad in the Wall Street Journal that recruited giants Aetna, General Electric and Travelers after they all posed threats following the passage of the state budget that included $1.6 billion in either new taxes or tax increases.

Gov. Dannel Malloy, who spoke Monday at the groundbreaking of a new research center for United Technologies, a company that renewed its commitment a year ago, said he doesn’t think the Florida ad push is anything special or unprecedented.

“You know, every governor competes in every state,” Malloy told reporters. “You know, we’ve brought jobs here from New York; we’ve brought them from Massachusetts and New Jersey. We’ve brought them, actually, from Florida. Everybody does this kind of stuff.”

Republicans in Connecticut were quick to pile on the governor, who held a private meeting with top General Assembly Democrats to discuss the budget, along with the governor’s proposed business tax rollbacks and new spending cuts.

“That’s despicable,” said state Sen. Len Fasano, a Republican from North Haven. “They get inside a room and they come out and announce that they have new revenue numbers and we’re going to use a different stream of revenue. What does that even mean to the public? Why do we even have session? Why do we even have public hearings?”

Fasano said the governor is failing to lead and said he couldn’t blame other states for working to recruit Connecticut-based companies.

“So, if I’m Florida, Texas, Illinois, you know what I’m going to say? ‘You don’t want them? You don’t appreciate them? Well, we do.’ That’s why Florida is coming up here,” Fasano said. “They have no income tax. They’ve cut their taxes 30 times. They don’t have an estate tax, so of course it’s going to be very attractive for the business and its employees to move to Florida.”