• The St. Johns County Chamber's annual state and local advocacy agendas are created by the Chamber's Public Policy Committee, a diverse group of Chamber members. For more information, contact Vice President, Public Policy, Bob Porter.

    2021 STATE ADVOCACY AGENDA

    State Partnerships

    • Continue efforts to enhance the level of partnership between the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce and elected state officials and staff.
    • Strengthen the partnership with the Florida Chamber of Commerce and other state advocacy partners to advance economic development in St. Johns County.

    Taxation

    • Analyze proposed legislative changes to the Florida tax code to determine the effects on St. Johns County businesses. After thorough review, make recommendations to our constituent legislators, where appropriate. Generally, support measures that make Florida more competitive in comparison to other states.
    • Support legislation eliminating Florida’s sales tax on commercial rents.

    Economic Competitiveness

    • Support continued reductions in the State corporate income tax.
    • Support legislative initiatives aimed at reducing the regulatory barriers impacting new business start-ups.
    • Support prioritization of Economic Development programs and funding of initiatives aimed at helping existing businesses expand and to attract new businesses to Florida.
    • Support initiatives aimed at streamlining Florida’s regulatory environment.
    • Support ongoing efforts to reform Florida’s land development codes that allow Florida property owners and businesses to maximize business expansion and land development opportunities, including, but not limited to, legislation that may impact waterfront property.
    • Support legislation related to the protection of intellectual property rights and Florida’s ability to recruit and retain knowledge-based businesses.
    • Support Economic Development legislation aimed at improving transportation infrastructure and freight mobility.

    Legal Reform

    • Support meaningful legal reform efforts that enhance the competitiveness of Florida’s business environment. While maintaining adequate protection for its citizens, the State should consider reforming Florida’s legal climate. Reforms to consider should include, among others: tort liability, workers compensation, Personal Injury Protection and the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.

    Transportation & Infrastructure

    • Support State funding for St. Johns County-based transportation and infrastructure projects, specifically: SR 313 (including consideration of a northern extension of SR 313) and the development of the regional outer beltway.
    • Support funding for ongoing maintenance and repair of St. Johns County’s state roads and infrastructure.

    Tourism

    • Support prioritization and allocation of funds to support “Visit Florida” and promotion of Northeast Florida’s tourism industries.
    • Monitor and oppose legislative or regulatory efforts to divert local tourist tax revenues away from localities or to fund other non-tourism related purposes.
    • Support St. Johns County-based grant applications relative to capital investment in historic preservation.

    Manufacturing

    • Support legislative initiatives to aid the profitability and expansion of manufacturers in Florida.
    • Support legislative initiatives aimed at reducing the cost of purchasing equipment used in manufacturing.

    Agriculture

    • Support state legislative efforts to address impacts of federal EPA policy-making which unfairly target Florida property owners.
    • Support legislative efforts to enhance the level of partnership between our state agricultural sector and K-12 school meal providers.

    Education

    • Support the funding of Workforce Education & Training programs which would serve St. Johns County citizens and businesses.
    • Support the development and use of a formula in the distribution of state PECO dollars that takes into consideration the needs of growing districts.

    Workforce Housing

    • Support the continued funding of the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Funds and oppose any attempt by the state legislature to “sweep” funds into other non-related funding categories.
    • Support continued efforts by the state legislature to give counties and municipalities more authority to ease zoning restrictions to allow additional affordable workforce housing to be constructed.
    • Support additional appropriations and grants to counties and municipalities to assist them in developing affordable workforce housing.

     

    2021 LOCAL ISSUE AGENDA
    Northeast Florida Region

    Enhance & Expand Relationships

    • Maximize the Chamber’s relationships with St. Johns County, the City of St. Augustine and the City of St. Augustine Beach through regular contact with elected Commissioners and professional staff.
    • Enhance the strong partnerships with St. Johns County, Northeast Florida Regional Airport Authority, St. Johns County Industrial Development Authority, Tourism Development Council, Visitors and Convention Bureau and other partners to further cooperative economic development efforts in the County.

    Drive Economic Development

    • Support continued interaction with the regional economic development and marketing partnerships including JAXUSA, the Northeast Florida Regional Council and the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization.
    • Maximize the working partnerships with Enterprise Florida, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Visit Florida to bring additional economic activity to St. Johns County.

    Leverage Community Brand & Reputation

    • Continue our strong support and partnership with the PGA Tour, which annually brings millions of visitor dollars into the St. Johns County economy and donates millions of dollars to support non-profit agencies in the County.

    St. Johns County

    Drive Economic Development

    • Support the prioritization of funding for local economic development initiatives.
    • Work with the County’s Tourist Development Council, Visitors and Convention Bureau and the St. Johns County Farm Bureau to promote the burgeoning agri- tourism sector.
    • Support funding to enhancement of tourism natural assets.

    Champion Business Infrastructure Investments

    • Support the prioritization of local transportation funding for completion of Strategic Infrastructure Corridors which will enhance St. Johns County’s economic competitiveness. Actively engage with the NFTPO, NEFRC and the County’s state legislative delegation to support local efforts to solicit state and/or federal transportation funding.
    • Support long-term local funding sources for beach restoration and replenishment and actively support efforts to obtain state and federal matching funds.

    Advance Workforce Initiatives

    • Support the continued examination of St. Johns County’s Land Use regulations and building codes to promote the creation of additional affordable housing units for our growing workforce.
    • Support St. Johns County’s public and private educational institutions which enhance the County’s attractiveness to new businesses and foster an educated, ready-to- work employment base. Special emphasis should be placed on career, technical and adult education.
    • Collaborate with the St. Johns County School Board, St. Johns River State College and the First Coast Technical College to provide agriculturally-focused educational instruction to support St. Johns County’s important agricultural sector.

    City of St. Augustine

    Promote Equitable Regulation

    • Maintain and strengthen the relationship between city officials and the Chamber’s Historic St. Augustine Area Council to ensure that the needs and concerns of the local business community are addressed in a timely manner.
    • Continue support for refining Constitutionally-compliant ordinances to address aggressive panhandling within the City limits. Work to bring St. Johns County and City of St. Augustine officials together to develop county-wide ordinances. Participate in the county-wide Continuum of Care Program to seek long-term solutions to end homelessness.

    Drive Economic Development

    • Engage with other regional non-profits and city government to explore plans for a cultural performing arts center to be located in St. Augustine.

    Champion Business Infrastructure Investments

    • Work with city officials and regional transportation organizations like NFTPO and JTA to secure funds for major projects such as the King Street revitalization and a potential multi-modal transportation hub at the old Broudy’s site on U.S.1.