Gov. Rick Scott is in the Windy City on another of his economic development missions designed to lure businesses in other states to Florida.
He’s walking a fine line in doing so–being careful not to attack Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, while being critical of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat.
Rauner made headlines when he vetoed a state budget earlier this year because it contained tax increases. The Illinois Legislature, which had failed to pass a budget the past two years, overrode Rauner’s veto.
The budget dispute in Illinois has hurt Rauner’s reelection chances. Scott is trying to avoid the appearance that he is being critical of Rauner on his trip to Chicago.
“While Governor Rauner has tried to grow Illinois’ economy, Chicago leaders and state legislators have for years been passing shortsighted policies and overwhelming increases of taxes and fees,” Scott said in a statement.
Past economic development missions by Scott have usually targeted states with Democratic governors. Just this summer he visited Connecticut, where Democrat Dannel Malloy is governor.
On this trip, Scott appears to have his sights set on Chicago and its mayor.
“In fact, the average Chicago family today pays nearly $1,700 more in taxes and fees every year than they paid only seven years ago,” Scott said. “While Florida has been able to pay down $7.6 billion in state debt and increase general revenues by more than 30 percent without raising taxes, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and city leaders announced yet another proposed round of burdensome tax and fee increases just last week.”
Scott says Chicago and the nation need to follow Florida’s lead, calling Florida a “success story.” In the past seven year, Scott says taxes have been cut 75 times saving taxpayers more than $7 billion and leading to the creation of more than 1.3 million private sector jobs.
“Florida’s success story is in stark contrast to the anti-business policies that have overburdened Chicago families and companies for far too long,” Scott added. “That is why I will be leading an economic development mission to Chicago to meet with site selectors and job creators and encourage them to move to and invest in Florida.”
“The entire nation needs to follow Florida’s lead–but until then, we will keep calling on businesses to move to Florida,” said Scott.