Florida House Introduces Additional Tax Cuts For Floridians

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News Release: Commissioner Adam H. Putnam's Office
Updated: March 26, 2014, 5:30pm

Tallahassee, FL – The House Finance and Tax Subcommittee approved today a committee bill that will provide sustainable funding to support Florida’s education infrastructure and provide a tax-free weekend for consumers who purchase energy-efficient appliances.

These priorities of Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam would provide more than $180 million in long-term funding to Florida’s schools and colleges by shifting revenue from an existing tax on commercial energy consumption to the state’s Public Education Capital Outlay trust fund. PECO, funded in part through a tax on land-line telephones, has diminished from nearly $200 million six years ago to just $73 million last year.

“The system we have in place to fund our education infrastructure is not sustainable,” said Commissioner Putnam. “Our proposal is a long-term, sustainable source of funding to provide our schools the resources they need to get our kids college, career and workforce-ready.”

The committee voted in favor of :

  • Shifting 3 percent of the sales tax revenue on commercial electricity consumption to the PECO fund, which supports maintenance and construction of facilities for K-12 schools and state universities.

  • Saving consumers money through a sales tax holiday weekend on energy-efficient appliance purchases. Consumers would pay no tax on the first $1,500 on purchases of Energy Star and Water Sense appliances purchased on Sept. 19 through Sept. 21, 2014.

These proposals were first introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Hill as HB 899 and in the Senate introduced by Sen. Anitere Flores as SB 1076.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.

News Release: Florida House

Tallahassee, Fla.—The Florida House Finance and Tax Subcommittee today passed PCB FTSC 14-05 relating to Economic Development as part of the Legislature’s Work Plan 2014 initiative to cut taxes and fees by $500 million. The bill provides a broad range of tax cuts and spending aimed at providing savings to Floridians and encouraging economic development in the state.

“This session, the House is committed to providing Floridians with the largest tax and fee cut in over a decade,” said State Representative Ritch Workman (R-Melbourne), Chair of the House Finance and Tax Subcommittee and sponsor of the bill. “This bill, along with the vehicle registration fee cuts passed by the Legislature last week, will put more money back in the pockets of hard-working Floridians and help our economy continue to flourish.”

PCB FTSC 14-05 includes:

  • Four temporary tax holiday periods during which sales of certain goods will be exempt from the sales tax. These include:

    • Three days in August for clothes and shoes priced at $100 or less, school supplies priced at $15 or less, and the first $750 of price on computers and certain accessories.

    • Twelve days in June for certain hurricane preparedness supplies.

    • Three days in September for the first $1,500 of price of certain energy and water efficient appliances.

    • Seven days in September for physical fitness facility memberships.

  • Permanent sales tax exemptions for child restraint systems and booster seats for use in motor vehicles and for bicycle helmets marketed for use by youth.

  • An increase in the exemption for corporate income tax from the first $50,000 of income to the first $75,000 of income for each corporate income taxpayer.

  • Creation of the Qualified Television Loan fund with the Department of Economic Opportunity, funded with $20 million in nonrecurring General Revenue, to encourage the production of television programs in Florida by assisting television production companies to acquire financing.

  • Addition of cement mixing drums to an existing temporary sales tax exemption for manufacturing machinery and equipment, which will expire in 2017.

  • Expansion from $178.8 million to $227.55 million of the credits available under the New Markets Tax Credit program, which directs investment into low income communities.

  • A one year, $14 million extension of the sunset date of the Community Contributions Tax Credit program.

  • Modernization of the statutory definition of “prepaid calling arrangement” to clarify that certain prepaid mobile communications services are subject to state and local sales taxes instead of state and local communications services taxes.

  • Redirection of sales tax collections on sales of electricity to the Gross Receipts Tax on utilities, thereby increasing revenues for public education capital outlay. The current 7% sales tax rate on electricity purchases by most businesses would be reduced to 4%, and the gross receipts tax on electricity would be increased by like amount.

  • Annual redirection of $100 million in sales tax revenue to the State Transportation Trust Fund to be used for statewide strategic and regionally significant projects.

In January, House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz announced Work Plan 2014, which included a $500 million tax cut as a priority. The House and Senate have already passed CS/SB 156, which will provide an estimated $395 million annually in tax relief to Floridians by reducing the taxes, fees, and surcharges for vehicle registration. To read more about Work Plan 2014, please visit the Florida House of Representatives online.

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