Economic competitiveness issues central to regional advocacy agenda
TAMPA, FL – January 8, 2016 – The Tampa Bay Partnership today announced its top priorities for the 2016 Florida legislative session. Focusing on policies and projects that enhance the economic competitiveness of the region, the agenda reflects the input and involvement of private investors, public partners and community stakeholders from the entire eight-county metropolitan area.
“The issues we’ve identified transcend individual city and county boundaries,” said Rick Homans, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership. “These are projects of regional significance, with an impact that resonates throughout Tampa Bay.”
Central to the legislative agenda are efforts to advance regional economic drivers, improve transportation infrastructure and create a more attractive business climate for high-wage jobs and capital investment, including the support of:
[if !supportLists]· [endif]A $22.5 million appropriation request to construct the new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Heart Health Institute in Downtown Tampa.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Funding to construct and equip the Tampa Bay Business Incubator in Downtown St. Petersburg.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Funding to further develop Tampa Bay’s world class athletic and sports performance assets, including the Benderson Rowing Facility in Sarasota County and IMG Academy in Manatee County.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Funding to implement a standardized transit payment system encompassing the eight-county Tampa Bay region.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Funding for key regional projects identified within the Florida Department of Transportation’s Five-Year Work Plan for Districts 1 and 7, including:
[if !supportLists]o [endif]Tampa Bay Express Phase I
[if !supportLists]o [endif]Tampa Bay Premium Transit Options Study
[if !supportLists]o [endif]SR 54/56 Corridor Improvements
[if !supportLists]o [endif]I-75/University Blvd. Interchange Improvements
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Legislation to reform the economic development incentive process and increase funding for competitive job creation projects through the establishment of the Florida Enterprise Fund.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Legislation to make permanent the sales and use tax exemption on manufacturing machinery and equipment.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Legislation to reduce the sales and use tax on commercial leases.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]A $10 million appropriation request to market Florida as a premiere destination for business recruitment and expansion.
The agenda reinforces the Partnership’s recent commitment to revitalizing its advocacy efforts, and uniting the business and political leadership of a diverse region with common goals. In February, the group will lead a high-level group of delegates to Tallahassee to advance the agenda and seek the support of the Bay Area Legislative Delegation (BALD), a powerful political body comprising 25 percent of the state legislature.
“It’s time for our regional business community to become a stronger force behind policy decisions in Tallahassee,” said Allen Brinkman, Chair of the Tampa Bay Partnership and Chairman, President and CEO of SunTrust Bank’s West Florida Division. “We need a bigger and bolder approach to ensure the economic competitiveness of Tampa Bay. To be successful, we need to speak with a collective voice on the critical issues impacting our community.”
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ABOUT THE TAMPA BAY PARTNERSHIP
The Tampa Bay Partnership galvanizes the business and political leadership of Tampa Bay to influence policies, programs and projects that enhance the economic competitiveness of the greater metropolitan area. Founded in 1994, the regional advocacy organization is supported by more than 120 private investors, public partners and community stakeholders from the counties of Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota.