Forbes' Pozzuoli: Business-Friendly Florida Draws Hertz, LeBron James

Thursday, 30 May 2013 06:53 AM

By Glenn J. Kalinoski and David Nelson

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No state income tax provides Florida with a major advantage compared with Northeast peers New York and New Jersey, according to Forbes contributor Ed Pozzuoli.

"Whether it is Hertz or LeBron James, there are really distinctive advantages to having no state income tax," the president of the Florida law firm Tripp Scott told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

"This past legislative session [Gov.] Rick Scott began to do away with some intangible taxes around business and capital expenditures, and so what you are having now is an encouragement and atmosphere created by the state that encourages investment by business and … it lowers unemployment. It provides opportunities for a big business to come to the State of Florida."

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The rental car giant has announced that it is moving from Park Ridge, N.J., to Florida's Gulf Coast, according to NorthJersey.com. The basketball superstar signed with the Miami Heat in 2010.

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

"You are going to see more of it," he said. "The State of Florida has come a long way from the sun and surf. Florida means business now and it’s not just tourism. It’s big business. The state is so diverse that it can accommodate most big business needs," he said.

"[You have] a tax structure that encourages corporations to [invest]. You have a more reasonable regulatory environment where businesses can grow. You have a state government that I believe understands that it is not in business. It is there to foster an environment for business," he said.

In comparing tax structures, Pozzuoli said those living and working in New York should think about what their paycheck looks like at the end of the day, considering the burdens of city, state and federal taxes.

"At the hotel I stayed in, not only is there a surcharge on room service, there is an administrative fee and then there is this fee and that fee and … the $10 omelet turned into a $40 plate for breakfast. That’s the tax structure," he said.

"In Florida it’s far less restrictive, far less intrusive. Businesses can keep their money and reinvest it into hiring people and capital improvements and growing."

He also cited Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook and recent headlines regarding the company including one on latimes.com: Report: Apple avoided billions in U.S. taxes on foreign income.

"What Tim Cook was saying [is] that Apple would rather borrow money because it was cheaper than to repatriate dollars that are currently in Ireland in their subsidiary," he said.

"Think about that. That money is sitting over in Ireland that could actually be brought back and put to work for jobs here in the States," he said.

"There was no less commitment from Apple about being an American company based upon American innovation and based upon American capitalism, but the tax structure has essentially forced decisions that honestly if he didn’t make the decision, his shareholders would be kicking him out."

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

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