The Sink campaign today released the candidate’s “Business Plan for Florida.” Among 12 “key areas” the plan includes this nugget:
Life Sciences. The state has more than 38,000 companies employing more than 671,000 workers in four general life science areas (biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical device manufacturing, health care). Florida is the 10th largest biotechnology state, but we can do more to move up that list.
Further along, Sink explains how she intends to “build the needed economic foundation for the future through a number of tools:
• More Research & Development and commercialization of new products in Florida. We want to be the place where breakthroughs happen. We can expand R&D activities through tax credits for new R&D in-state investment. Thirty-seven states already have such incentives; Florida should join them. For example, New York offers businesses investing in R&D a 9 percent corporate tax credit. A typical high-tech company such as a computer manufacturer might spend 7% of revenues on R&D. For a small tech company with $1,000,000 in revenue and $200,000 in net income, that translates into spending $70,000 on research — and if it did so in Florida, it would receive $6,300 back on its taxes. That would represent more than a 50% reduction of its total corporate income tax obligation.
• Leverage up to $2 billion for high-tech investment. A 2008 law authorizes the State Board of Administration to invest a maximum of 1.5 percent of the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund’s assets in the state’s high tech and targeted industry sectors. Since the Florida Retirement System has about $130 billion in assets, this gives the SBA nearly $2 billion for investments in areas such as life sciences, clean energy, and aerospace/aviation. Our competitors – states like New York and Washington – have used similar programs with positive results. As Governor, Alex will carefully monitor this investment of these funds to ensure that Florida is obtaining both the best investment return and producing business development results with it in Florida. If the effort proves successful, with strict accountability measures, she will work to expand this law to authorize the State Board of Administration to invest a maximum of 3 percent of the FRS Trust Funds, providing access to yet another $2 billion for investments in Florida’s growth and high tech industries.