How state initiatives are bringing new jobs and diverse investments to Miami-Dade
In your State of the State address, you announced an additional $250 million of incentives through the Florida Enterprise Fund. How is this initiative creating jobs in Florida and impacting Miami-Dade?
The purpose of the Florida Enterprise Fund is to recruit companies to move to or expand in Florida. So far, we’ve been able to add 1.25 million jobs in the first five years of the initiative, including 18,000 new jobs in Miami-Dade from November 2014 to November 2015, bringing the county unemployment rate to 5.8 percent. We are ahead of economically significant states in job growth and have become the third-fastest growing job market in the country.
My administration’s job-growth goals include diversifying our economy by attracting more manufacturing and high-tech jobs through reducing taxes and making it easier to do business. For example, there is no sales tax for a three-year period when a manufacturer buys equipment, and we are working to make this permanent. In addition, we are working on removing the sales tax on commercial leases and the income tax for manufacturers and retailers.
We are also focusing on funding higher education to ensure that it caters to the jobs of the future. Florida International University and Miami Dade College are currently doing a great job teaching technology and innovation, and even Miami-Dade’s public school system is educating for the future by creating specialized business and technology programs.
What changes are being made to attract foreigners to Florida?
Florida is the most important state in the country because of its unique melting pot, which includes one of the world’s most vibrant and international cities, Miami. To continue attracting international residents, we need to make them feel welcome. This is why I’ve focused on keeping our crime rate low by implementing standards to hire the best sheriffs and police chiefs. We are also making communication as smooth as possible so law enforcement is more coordinated and implemented more effectively. We’ve reached a 44-year low in the state’s crime rate, which dropped 4.9 percent between 2013 and 2014.
Miami-Dade has seen an increase in foreign investment. How is Miami-Dade making itself more attractive for foreign direct investment?
Completing the PortMiami Deep Dredge project in 2015 and the Port Tunnel in 2014 were significant shows of support to invite global trade and business. Miami is the first port on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard prepared for the Panama Canal expansion. Accommodating more ships means more investment in PortMiami, opening more routes and increasing commerce and the transfer of goods.