By: Mike Vasilinda
October 15, 2013
Governor Rick Scott has asked Floridians for their ideas to lower taxes by half a billion dollars this year. Today the idea of lowering the cost of electricity for businesses was floated at the third annual energy conference.
Businesses big and small pay a seven percent sales tax on the electricity they use. The idea to cut that tax in half won applause at the FL energy summit. “These are our mom and pop businesses that are paying a tax on electricity that homeowners are not,” says Adam Putnam/FL Agriculture Commissioner.
The tax brought in over half a billion dollars last year but it’s been declining because of energy conservation. The Putnam plan would be phased in over three years, cutting a percent and a half the first year, and one percent for each of the next two years. ”
Adam Putnam who got control of the state energy office in 2011 says the cash would spur more investments and help business create jobs. “And we think that this a tax on small businesses, I think it’s a responsible approach by cutting the sales tax in half on the electricity that small business use, and redirecting the other half to public education,” says Putnam.
Other ideas being floated at the energy summit include making it easier for business to invest in alternative energies and to guarantee that they won’t be penalized by higher property taxes if they do. The ideas are winning praise from the Florida alliance for clean energy. “By abiding both the property taxes and the tangible taxes that go along with solar that would help to level the playing field just enough to bring the prices into being more competitive,” says Susan Glickman/FL Alliance for Clean Energy.
The sales tax on electricity isn’t collected from manufacturing businesses or from homes.