The EDC has a terrible performance record. The County helps fund its
operational costs to the tune of $250,000 annually. But that is not
all. Businesses are bribed to relocate or expand through direct
public capital expenditures and tax exemptions shifting the tax burden
to other businesses, sometimes to businesses that have long been
established in our community that are direct competitors of the
recipient businesses. We shouldn’t force businesses to subsidize
their competitors. The City of Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie also
provide additional expenditures and incentives. The recipient
businesses are also provided with an expedited permit process that is
pushed ahead of others. These costs can and have amounted to millions
of tax dollars.

The EDC was a big supporter of the Digital Domain boondoggle that cost
our community $60 million, not to mention the additional $20 million
from the State.

You may hear people advocate minor successes of job creation from the
EDC recruitment, but they cannot answer at what cost. When Wal-Mart
was recruited to St Lucie County through public incentive programs,
they did create jobs. But, absent from the public dialogue was the
dozens of small businesses that could not effectively compete with
Wal-Mart and closed their doors while being forced to subsidize their
competitor. Or, the cheering that was done for the jobs created by
recruiting Convergy’s to relocate on tax dollars. Convergy’s closed
and relocated when their incentives ran out. Torrey Pines has been
cheered as a major success of the EDC. After giving them millions in
tax dollars, they recently requested another $3 million from the

It is the failure of the economic theory that spending tax dollars can
effectively steer an economy. What happens when the 300 unemployed
Digital Domain employees can no longer pay their mortgage, reduce
their spending in our economy, or move out of our community for other
employment? We often commit more tax dollars to help their suffering
because intervention begets intervention which always promotes waste
and corruption.

The economic theory should focus on the study of human action,
inclusive of, not, only spending. Low taxes keeps the money invested
in a free market of voluntary exchange that promotes stable,
efficient, and long term growth.

I do support the EDC recruiting and advocating for businesses through
private funding, but I do not support public funding and shifting the
tax burden to established businesses.

We have to start cutting the size of our government bureaucracy and
stabilize the markets. The EDC is a good starting point. I hope you
will join us to reduce the size of our government and help free the
markets in our return to prosperity.