TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - We appreciate and support House Speaker-Designate Richard Corcoran’s efforts to recover taxpayer money provided to Sanford Burnham. The California-based institute received $350 million in incentives from local and state taxpayers yet failed to create all the jobs it promised before announcing earlier this year that it was withdrawing from the state. This includes nearly $155 million in incentives funded by state taxpayers.
While we continue to support the use of smart, targeted incentives to attract and retain businesses in Florida, Rep. Corcoran is absolutely correct to fight for taxpayers when promises are not kept from those receiving public funds.
We also applaud Gov. Rick Scott and the Department of Economic Opportunity for reviewing the contract and the potential for recouping taxpayer money as well as their continued leadership in making Florida the best place in the world to work, to learn and to live. Their vigilance on the proper use of incentives, including adequate safeguards, will go far in assuring taxpayers that their money is being invested wisely.
Taxpayers must have faith that every dime they provide for public use is being spent wisely and prudently. It is critical that all incentives include guarantees that hold recipients accountable for performance expectations while providing a mechanism for a refund when those promises aren’t kept.