Duval County has its share of turkeys.

Yesterday the organization Florida Tax Watch in Tallahassee published its report “The 2019 Budget Turkey Watch Report: An Analysis of the Transparency and Accountability of the Budget Process.” Per their wording on the report they state:

“The report started in 1983, and having been published annually since 1986, promotes additional oversight and integrity in the state’s budgeting process based on the principle that: because money appropriated by the Legislature belongs to the taxpayers of Florida, the process must be transparent and accountable, and every appropriation should receive deliberation and public debate. The budget review identifies appropriations that circumvent transparency and accountability standards in public budgeting. Budget Turkeys are items, usually local member projects, placed in individual line-items or accompanying proviso language that are added to the final appropriations bill without being fully scrutinized and subjected to the budget process.”

Eye on Jacksonville took a look at some of the local member projects and we agree, there are a few turkeys and they are plump!

The best one seems to be a good-idea project…”$8 Million ask for downtown workforce housing.”

Let me explain why workforce housing is necessary.

When a downtown is developed with expensive high rise condos, luxury hotels, convention centers and other high priced buildings, the workforce to serve these entities need a place to reside. These housing developments are put up for them so they can be close to work. This makes sense.

For a developer to come to town and help build a downtown, they require help from the city to create incentives for them to make a profit. Profits are not bad as some people think they are. Profits are good and exorbitant profits with the use of our tax incentives is not good.

There is where the turkey for this project comes into play.

A local seasoned workforce housing developer, John Rood, does good work. It appears, however, he is receiving about 90% of the tax deals in downtown. He is a good friend of the Mayor’s and a great investor in his campaigns. We question if this is fair – he gets approximately 90%? Hummm.

And as my famous mentor, Charles “Red” Scott said, “Creativity is good, but not in accounting.” Eye on Jacksonville has a feeling that creativity is rampant in these tax incentives. Why?

Because a 140 unit workforce housing should receive about $4 Million but this deal is giving $8 Million to Mr. Rood. Who’s doing the calculations for these deals?

Don’t get me wrong…we need the housing. We need to help developers. We need to do our part. We do NOT need to give more than is necessary for a profit – especially not double the profits to someone who is getting almost all of these deals downtown.

Just sayin…and we know it will not change the game. But at least we can poke the bear and let them know Eye has their eye on you, you turkeys!

Check out the full report filled with turkeys and contact Gov. DeSantis if any of them should be line item vetoed out of the budget.

Here you go:


Billie Tucker
Billie Tucker has worked in the CEO world for more than 30 years and was the Chief Operating Officer of Vistage Florida, a think tank for CEOs. She started her own consulting practice, CEO Service Bureau, in 2001 and earned a reputation for her keen understanding of the motivations, challenges and goals of people and became a life-long student and teacher of leadership principles.
She craved anything leadership related and enjoyed being around the world of entrepreneurial CEOs. She watched as they made decisions; pondered how they would make payroll when cash flow was tight; and appreciated how they created career opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people. Because of her experiences, she has emerged as a key resource for the media and others who want to understand important insights about executives, management teams and board dynamics.
In 2008, Billie became discouraged as she watched some of her clients struggle with the political economic impacts on their businesses. The same CEOs who mortgaged their home and charged up their credit cards to make ends meet to build a business and keep others working, now watched as their government bailed out the big banks who had mismanaged their resources. She cringed as most of her clients laid off employees for the first time and she vowed she would help them… somehow…someway.
That somehow…someway showed up in the Tea Party Movement in America. She formed one of the largest tea party group’s in America (more than 9,000 members strong) and helped bring attention to America’s debt problem, out of control spending, over taxation and regulation strangulation on companies.
With her background in working with leaders and her influence in the political and leadership world, Billie has continued her dream to help CEOs navigate these troubling waters that permeate the world of capitalism in America.
She has been an active participant in the media as a guest on CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, Bott Family Network Radio and co-hosts a political/financial radio show in the Northeast Florida market entitled, Smart Money.
She was the first speaker at the House of Representatives Tea Party Caucus inaugural event and was invited by Heritage Foundation to speak at their prestigious annual Heritage Resource Bank, and on their National Security Panel live broadcasts.
She spoke at the Congressional Republican House Retreat in Pennsylvania in 2012. She was also the co-host and co-producer of the CNN Tea Party Express Debate in the 2012 Presidential Election.
She is a firm believer that America needs more entrepreneurs and more opportunities for people to use their God-given talents and passions to better themselves, their communities and America.
Her favorite quote has become her mission to help CEOs succeed:
“Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison

Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.

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