Douglas J. Sale published in the Stetson Law Review
Panama City, FL —May 24, 2017—Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, HSMc, Founding Partner Douglas J. Sale has been published in the Stetson Law Review. His inclusion, FREE ENTERPRISE VS. ECONOMIC INCENTIVES: THE EVOLUTION OF THE “PUBLIC PURPOSE” FULCRUM was published in the May 2017 Edition.
“Representing local governments and private businesses since the 1970’s in Northwest Florida where we have seen substantial economic expansion, our lawyers have been active in developing a variety of projects that have leveraged a good but of private investment with the use of limited public assets. Each of these projects had to yield an acceptable return to the private investor but, at the same time, had to serve a public purpose that met the standards set by the Florida Constitution. Over the past half century those standards were amended by the citizens at referendum once and have been reinterpreted by the courts many times,” Sale stated. “In writing this article, it was my intent to show the history of that evolution and share our experience with practical ways to place these types of projects on sound, constitutional as well as economic footings. The public policy incorporated in these constitutional standards is precisely the same debate ongoing between Governor Scott and House Speaker Corcoran over economic incentives, pejoratively labelled corporate welfare. That debate is not new.”
The Stetson Law Review is published three times a year and addresses contemporary topics that are relevant both nationally and to Florida practitioners. Sale’s 50 page article is included as the lead article in Volume 46:3, page 481. http://www.stetson.edu/law/lawreview/current.php
Free Enterprise vs. Economic Incentives:
The Evolution of the “Public Purpose” FulcrumDouglas J. Sale
This Article explores the evolution of Florida law regarding public-private partnerships (“P3s”) and provides practical tips for local government practitioners to best position themselves and the governments they represent for success in partnering with private entities. Local governments and the private sector may collaborate on projects involving economic development, blight elimination or redevelopment, and acquisition of a needed asset or service. However, to avoid running afoul of the Florida Constitution, the government actor must be careful to ensure that the public benefit is sufficiently served and that the project does not disproportionately benefit the private partner. The standard-although not always consistently applied by the Florida Supreme Court-varies depending on the type of financing employed by the government,specifically on whether the governmental assets to be used are in hand at the time of the project’s inception, and if not, how they will be obtained (taxation versus enterprise net revenues). In any case, the constitutionality of a given project will hinge on whether it demonstrates a sufficient public purpose to be served.
In addition to describing strategies that local government attorneys can employ to best position their projects to meet the required standards, this Article also discusses the variety of mechanisms that a local government can use to implement such projects, including a city’s home-rule power; the 2013 Florida P3 statute; a specific grant of community redevelopment power; and other economic incentive programs included in various statutes and regulations. The Author is the former City Attorney for the City of Panama City Beach and a past President of the Florida Municipal Attorneys Association.
FULL ARTICLE is available at this link: http://www.hsmclaw.com/Documents/FreeEnterpriseVsEconomicIncentives_HarrisonSaleMcCloy.pdf