Even as Enterprise Florida faces the chopping block in the Florida House, Jacksonville politicians are seeking to save it while there is still time.
On Wednesday, Councilmen Jim Love and Aaron Bowman met to discuss a resolution of support for the beleaguered EFI, a concept they had discussed a week prior.
The salient numbers for Councilman Love: 5,000 jobs and $650M in private capital investment since July 2015.
Love notes that Jacksonville is the biggest city in Florida, and “should have some sway,” with EFI investment being a “small price to pay to bring jobs to Jacksonville.”
Love’s goal: to keep Enterprise Florida funded at its current level.
“If we stay even,” the councilman said, “we’ll win.”
Representing the city’s Office of Economic Development, Kirk Wendland noted that Jacksonville is “trying to stay in the game.”
“Without anything from the state,” Wendland said, “it will be difficult.”
It’s uncertain how much sway a council resolution will have, given divisions within the Duval Delegation on these incentives.
While Rep. Jay Fant believes that Enterprise Florida can be tweaked, Cord Byrd and Jason Fischer line up more closely with the Richard Corcoran/Paul Renner philosophy on incentives.
Nonetheless, Love hopes for a strong council majority supporting the resolution.