Florida Gov. Rick Scott's plan to lure Kentucky jobs to the Suns - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's plan to lure Kentucky jobs to the Sunshine State could be working

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- "Come to Florida."

That's the title of radio ad presented by Enterprise Florida. The target audience: all business owners in Kentucky.

It's just one way Florida Governor Rick Scott plans to bring jobs to his state -- and it's obvious someone was listening.

"We love Kentucky," said 1st Choice Aerospace owner Chris Yeazel. "However, in this instance we just had to go with Florida." 

Yeazel is expanding the Hebron, Kentucky business in Florida instead of its Kentucky location. The company specializes in repairing interior items in commercial aircrafts. Its expansion includes about 40 new jobs and $7 million, which will all go to the Sunshine State.

"Friendlier tax codes make it a little easier for us to do business there," Yeazel explained.

Governor Scott isn't stopping at radio ads to reach business owners. He came all the way from Florida to Lexington on Tuesday to convince more companies to relocate.

"Lower taxes, less regulation, you don't have to become a member of a union if you don't want to," Gov. Scott said. "We're a right-to-work state. You don't have to worry about your taxes going up because the credit rating is not one of the worst in the country. That's unfortunately what's happened in Kentucky."

Scott is no stranger to Kentucky business. He was the CEO of the Columbia HCA hospital chain, which bought Humana's "Galen" hospitals in the early 90s.

Scott moved the hospitals' headquarters -- and about 1,000 jobs -- from Louisville to Nashville in 1995. At the time, Scott said Kentucky taxes were too high.

But his return has clearly ruffled some feathers in Frankfort. In a written statement, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says in part:

"If he wants to waste his time coming to Kentucky to try and convince our businesses to come to Florida, then come ahead because he will have no success...Governor Scott ought to be closing the roads leading out of Florida to stop all the folks who want to leave because they are sick and tired of paying the outrageous property taxes in that state."

But he's not just targeting Kentucky. Governor Scott has made similar appearances in California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

"We're going to places where it's harder to do business. As a result, we get companies like Nestle moving operations from the northeast down to Florida," said Governor Scott.

"I know everyone in Kentucky would like to keep the jobs here," he said. "I'd like to have them in Florida."

Governor Scott will be in Kentucky through Wednesday to convince business owners move or expand in Florida.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer sent a statement Tuesday night in response to Scott's push:

"In 1995, Rick Scott left town in the middle of the night, breaking dozens of commitments he’d made here.  Within two years, his Columbia/HCA pleaded guilty in one the largest Medicare fraud cases in U.S. history. The company paid an historic $1.7 billion fine, and Scott was forced to resign. And now, this guy is coming to Kentucky and saying, ‘Trust me?’ I don't think so."

“In his letter, Gov. Scott cherry-picks numbers that reflect well on his state, and leaves out the statistics that do not. On taxes, for example, he says his state has no personal income tax – but he leaves out the fact that Florida has a higher sales tax than Kentucky, higher property tax and a higher cost of living."

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