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Florida TaxWatch Releases Report Encouraging Reauthorization of QTI Program

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released 2022 Legislature Should Reauthorize the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund Program, a report wherein the government watchdog contends the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) tax refund program – which expired on June 30, 2020 – should be reauthorized by the Florida Legislature in 2022, enabling the state to directly compete with Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and others to attract companies in high value-added industries that are considering settling or expanding their operations.

Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro said, “It’s clear that QTI provides a significant benefit to Florida with its robust return-on-investment of more than five to one, creating thousands of high-paying jobs every year. In fact, in Fiscal Year 2019-2020 alone, 159 companies certified under the program created 7,890 jobs, and QTI generally produces jobs that pay more than 140 percent of the statewide average annual wage. 

“While Florida TaxWatch has long maintained the position that incentive programs will not be the sole reason a company selects a particular state to locate its operations, they can certainly be a disqualifying factor in the initial stages or a deciding factor in the final stage. Essentially, they can make a difference – especially when it comes to growth and diversification of the manufacturing sector – and without QTI, the state could be losing out on billions of dollars in economic benefit.

“We’re hopeful that lawmakers will consider this during the 2022 Legislative Session and agree that we can’t delay the revival of QTI, a flagship economic development program with a proven track record of success, any longer.” 

Established in 1994, QTI is a grant program that is subject to annual appropriation, but despite considerable bipartisan support, failed to be extended during two consecutive legislative sessions (2019 and 2020). It is a performance-based program that refunds corporate income, sales, ad valorem, and other specific state and local taxes paid by companies, only when commitments are met, to encourage the creation and retention of high-wage, quality jobs in the most sought-after industries.  

To qualify, a company must apply within the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and be certified as a qualified target industry business. These currently include aviation and aerospace; corporate headquarters; clean technology; defense and homeland security; financial and professional services; global logistics and trade; information technology; life sciences; manufacturing; and research and development. 

For more information and to read the full report, please click here.

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