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Poll: 78% of Floridians support incentives to ‘encourage companies to stay in … or move to Florida’

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Florida voters appear to support economic incentives and Visit Florida, at least according to a new survey from the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The survey found 78 percent of Floridians support financial incentives to “encourage companies to stay in Florida or move to Florida from another state in exchange for creating jobs and investing in our state,” according to a polling memo released Monday. The survey also showed 73 percent of voters supported Florida “tax dollars to promote tourists visiting Florida.”

The survey of 600 likely voters was conducted by Cherry Communications by phone from March 6 through March 14. The findings were released on the eve of the annual Florida Chamber of Commerce Capitol Days.

The Florida Chamber has opposed efforts by the Florida House to slash funding for Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing agency, and eliminate Enterprise Florida, the private-public economic development agency.

According to the polling memo, support for financial incentives crosses party lines with 87 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of independents “supporting Florida remaining the number on destination for jobs in the nation.”

The House voted 87-28 to approve a bill that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and a slew of other economic incentive programs. The measure still needs approval from the Senate, which does not appear to be as inclined to take as severe a position when it comes to economic incentives.

The memo goes on to say that 81 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of Democrats, and 71 percent of independents support using tax dollars for tourism advertising. The House voted 80-35 for a bill that would, among other things, slash funding for Visit Florida.

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