Gaming and the American Jobs Act
As the State of Florida approaches the 2012 Session of the State Legislature, expanded gaming is the focus of much discussion and debate. That will be the centerpiece of our Gaming Forum to be held at 7:30 am, Tuesday, November 29, at the Westin off of Cypress Creek.
With statewide unemployment hovering around 10 percent (8.9% in Broward County) and state elected officials trying to figure out how to raise revenues, casino deals seem reasonable to discuss. Just last week we heard from Fort Lauderdale City Manager Lee Feldman at the Downtown Council breakfast that municipal government is also in a revenue pinch long term and must reinvent itself in order to remain solvent.
This isn't new to most business people. We have been downsizing, rightsizing, new normal sizing and tightening our belts for years as this post recessionary hangover continues to force business to maintain a conservative approach to expansion and reinvesment in our companies.
Our Council of Economic Advisors, delegates to our Washington Fly In, and most business leaders in South Florida are merely asking our elected officials to lead by making the difficult decisions for which they were elected so we know what the playing field looks like in order for us to plan our future. That's exactly what President Obama did yesterday by siginging into law legislation that provides tax credits to companies that hire umemplyed veterans and repealed the three precent withholding for government contractors.
Under the "Returning Heros" tax credit, employers would get a maximum tax break of $5,600 per veteran, while the maximum under the "Wounded Warrior" credit is $9,600. These tax credits coupled with a repeal of the three percent withholding on government contractors are part of the "American Jobs Act." All three will improve cash flow for businesses.
There is disagreement throughout the country on long term tax reform as a stimulus for job growth. There is disagreement in Florida on expanded casinos. What is clear is that doing nothing will continue a drag on our recovery.
To that end, I hope you become part of the dicussions at our Gaming Forum on Nov. 29 by registering here.
Lastly, from our Board of Directors and staff, the Chamber wishes you and very Happy Thanksgiving.