November 21, 2017

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he's cut taxes 75 times, creating 1.3 million jobs. Did he? [PolitiFact]

Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida writes:

“For years, Republican Gov. Rick Scott has touted an ever-growing pile of tax cuts he has achieved for the state.

In 2013, he claimed he cut taxes 24 times. In 2014, that number grew to 40. Now, as Scott rounds out his last full year in office (and ponders a run for the U.S. Senate), the tally has been raised once more.

‘We’ve cut taxes 75 times, cut $7.5 billion worth in taxes, and as a result we’ve added over 1.3 million jobs,’ Scott said Nov. 9 during a news conference in Tampa.

Scott’s past boasts rated Half True, because Scott relied on some creative math to reach his tax cut total. He did that again in this claim, but he went even further when he said those tax cuts resulted in the creation of 1.3 million jobs. Experts say the cuts may be a factor in job growth, but they’re likely not the most critical one.

‘The governor takes credit for all the jobs created since he took office, but with so many other driving factors at play, it’s difficult to attribute these jobs to the tax cuts,’ said Joe Pennisi with the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added].

No doubt, Scott has cut taxes in his seven years as governor. Our quibble is with the claim that he did it 75 times, which is an inflated statistic.

His claim that those tax cuts created 1.3 million jobs, however, is on shakier ground.

‘It’s hard to determine exactly how many jobs the tax cuts produced; however, it’s economically expected that spending more is going to help the economy and in turn create jobs,’ Wenner said.

Experts said a bulk of the tax cuts (especially the sales tax holidays and narrow sales tax exemptions) have a minimal effect on the economy.

‘What causes businesses to hire more employees is demand for their services,’ said Jonathan Hamilton, an economic professor at the University of Florida. ‘The (tax cuts) on Scott’s list all account for a relatively small reduction in their costs.’

Pennisi pointed to research from left-leaning organizations that show tax cuts and business incentives fail to have a significant impact on economic activity and job creation. Businesses don’t necessarily use extra savings to hire more employees.

‘Hiring is driven by the demand for a business’ goods and services rather than the presence in the owner’s pocket of a few more dollars made available through tax cuts,’ Pennisi said in a 2016 brief [emphasis added].

He said the bulk of the governor’s tax cuts would not be expected to create that demand.”

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