Tax Cuts, Education Funding Proposals Clear First Senate Committee Stop

By: Commissioner Adam Putnam Email
By: Commissioner Adam Putnam Email

News Release: Commissioner Adam Putnam

Tallahassee, FL – Following testimony by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today before the Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee, Commissioner Putnam’s energy proposals passed the first committee stop in the Florida Senate.

During his testimony, Commissioner Putnam outlined his energy-related proposals to cut the tax businesses pay on electricity in half, saving them $225 million per year; provide a long-term, sustainable source of funding for Florida’s education infrastructure; and create a tax holiday for consumers to save money on purchases of energy efficient appliances.

“This year, we have some proposals that are bold, that will save consumers, save businesses and make a long-term investment in the state’s future,” Putnam told the committee members.

The committee voted in support of S.B. 1076, a bill sponsored by Sen. Anitere Flores that includes:

  • Cutting electricity consumption taxes in half for businesses. Cutting this tax from 7 percent to 3.5 percent will save businesses up to $225 million per year.

  • Directing a portion of the revenue from the energy consumption tax to support Florida’s education infrastructure. The Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) fund 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.

Representatives from Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Retail Federation, the Florida School Board Association, Florida International University, the Florida College System Council of Presidents, Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of Florida and the University of North Florida attended the hearing to show support for the legislation.

“This includes tax cuts for businesses, investment in our future and tax relief for the consumer,” said Commissioner Putnam. “I appreciate Sen. Anitere Flores, as well as our partners in the business and education communities, for their efforts to help Florida’s businesses, consumers and students.”

The committee also voted in support of S.B. 1044, a measure sponsored by Sen. Wilton Simpson to revise statutes relevant to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Energy. This bill would allow electric vehicle charging stations and alternative fuel stations installed for the public to notify the department in order to provide locations online to consumers.

During his testimony, Commissioner Putnam also mentioned S.B. 916, a bill proposed by Commissioner Putnam and sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes that earned the support of the committee during a previous hearing. This bill would allow voters to support a constitutional amendment that exempts commercial properties from higher taxes as a direct result of renewable energy improvements.

In addition, Commissioner Putnam reviewed the economic impact of the state’s 2013 Renewable Energy Tax Incentives with the committee. The state invested $18 million in the Renewable Energy Technologies Investment Tax Credit and the Florida Renewable Energy Production Credit programs. According to an analysis released Friday, these successful programs generated more than $200 million in economic impact and created more than 700 jobs.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit

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