State economists seeing some blue skiesby John Kennedy | February 28th, 2011
Florida economists have released new data showing individual income rebounded slightly last year after enduring a rare, recession-driven drop of almost 2.5 percent in 2009.
Per-capita income hit $38,929 in 2010 — up .55 percent from a year earlier, when the $38,715 earned by the average Floridian represented the first income decline in at least 20 years.
The state’s Economic and Demographic Research Office, in a new report also forecast that individual income levels will top $40,000 this year for the first time — a 3.8 percent rise that would be the sharpest spike in four years.
The bullish EDR economists also apparently sees nothing but blue skies in the decade ahead, with annual income gains ranging from 2.7 percent to 4.7 percent through 2020.
Republican Gov. Rick Scott won election over Democrat Alex Sink last fall by running on a campaign theme of creating jobs. And as the state’s chief executive, Scott has proposed overhauling state agencies and cutting regulations to make Florida more business friendly.
Meanwhile, state analysts also have unveiled findings from a new survey of economic incentives offered by cities and counties to businesses looking to re-locate or expand. The average giveaway by the 37 counties that responded to the state survey: $279,611 per-business, in tax incentives, fee-reductions, below-market leases, grants or loans.
Palm Beach County reported $2.1 billion in incentives — well below the $32 billion claimed by state-leading Orange County — but generally in line with other South Florida counties. Miami-Dade County reported $3.2 billion in business incentives, and Broward County just under $1 billion in business handouts.