Florida House Proposes $1.38B in Tax Breaks for Businesses and Shoppers
Florida lawmakers are working on a package of tax breaks for businesses and shoppers worth $1.38 billion. The package includes a variety of measures, such as sales-tax “holidays” and cutting a commercial-lease tax that businesses have long criticized. The House Ways & Means Committee recently unanimously approved its package, which also includes holding a series of tax holidays and providing sales-tax exemptions on products for babies and toddlers.
Meanwhile, the Senate Finance and Tax Chairman Blaise Ingoglia gave an initial overview of a Senate plan, expected to overlap parts of the House proposal, on issues such as tax holidays and the baby and toddler discounts. Ingoglia vowed to be “as aggressive as possible” and said the final package negotiated by the Senate and House in the coming weeks “will be the largest tax cut in the history of Florida for one year.”
The Senate plan could include several measures not found in the House package, such as reimbursing local governments that saw property-tax revenues reduced by Hurricane Ian, funding for cleaning up Brownfield sites, and tax breaks on aviation fuel, broadband equipment, and firearms-safety boxes.
The House package also includes such things as permanently lifting taxes on adult incontinence products, oral hygiene products, equipment to produce renewable natural gas, and certain agricultural fencing. The package includes DeSantis’ call for two 14-day back-to-school tax “holidays” that would be held before the fall and spring terms. Shoppers would be able to avoid paying sales taxes on clothes, school supplies, learning aids, and personal computers under $1,500.
The House proposal also would maintain a “Tool Time” holiday in September to provide a tax exemption on certain tools and equipment. The House plan also would offer a one-year tax exemption on certain Energy Star appliances and gas ranges and cooktops.
Among the most-expensive proposals in the House package is a reduction in the commercial-lease tax from 5.5 percent to 4.5 percent. That change would cut state revenue by an estimated $311.5 million and local government revenue by $82.9 million. The House package would reduce the rate from 5.5 percent to 4.5 percent this year, before it would go to 2 percent in 2024.
Florida lawmakers are proposing a significant tax break package for businesses and shoppers. The House has already approved its proposal, while the Senate is working on its own plan, which is expected to overlap parts of the House proposal. The final package negotiated by the Senate and House in the coming weeks is expected to be the largest tax cut in the history of Florida for one year.