Local Business Taxes Could Increase

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

For most folks, tax season is at least a month or two down the road; but not for Rafael Marte.

He's already running the numbers on the taxes he has to pay to keep his convenience store open. He'll have to cut hundreds of dollars in checks bound for Tallahassee.

And, as if that weren't enough, many cities and counties charge a local business tax. Another check entrepreneurs up and down the state complain they shouldn't have to write.

"There are a lot of highly-paid people that are wasting time on little things that will not benefit nobody," says Rafael Marte, a convenience store owner.

You might call it an ode to bureaucracy. Licenses, taxes, permits and fees, a big boon for government, but not for business. Now, Tallahassee's majority republicans are determined to clean up Rafael's wall.

Under a new bill, local business taxes would be banned. Statewide, the taxes have collected more than 150-million dollars. Money local governments call critical to keeping police on the street and clean water flowing.

But GOP leaders including Governor Scott are making a priority out of keeping taxes low.

"We'll reduce corporate tax rates, we'll reduce capital gains tax rates, we'll eliminate regulation that's just killing jobs. We'll have a different attitude," says Governor Rick Scott, a republican of Florida.

On that, Rafael doesn't disagree, but he'd rather lawmakers focus on cutting state taxes. After all, the average local tax is around 50 bucks a year.

"It's 50 dollars that will help me to pay the stamps that are going up!" Marte says.

And that may not do anything to help create new jobs.
Troy Kinsey, WCTV Eyewitness news Tallahassee.

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