FORT MYERS, Fla. –Governor Rick Scott visited Stevens Construction, a healthcare and commercial construction management firm founded and headquartered in Fort Myers, to highlight the more than $10 billion in taxes cut for Florida families and job creators during the governor’s time in office. This includes cutting taxes nearly 100 times, including nearly $550 million in tax cuts during the most recent legislative session. Governor Scott also recognized the overwhelming, bipartisan passage of HJR 7001, which will place an amendment to the Florida Constitution on the November 2018 ballot that will give Floridians the opportunity to vote on making it harder for politicians to raise taxes and fees. The Governor will continue to highlight these tax cuts in Doral, Ft. Myers, West Palm Beach, and Orlando this today and tomorrow.
The nearly $550 million in tax cuts passed during the 2018 legislative session include:
· Sales Tax Holidays to Save Families $38.5 Million – The tax cut package includes funding for two sales tax holidays which will save Floridians an estimated $38.5 million in the upcoming fiscal year. These sales tax holidays include:
o $32.7 million from a 3-day back-to-school sales tax holiday; and
o $5.8 million from a one-week disaster preparedness sales tax.
· Sales Tax Exemptions in Agricultural Materials to Save Farmers $11.6 Million – The tax cut package includes tax relief for Florida’s farmers to help in their continued recovery Hurricane Irma.
o $8.8 million from a sales tax exemption on nonresidential farm building materials; and
o $2.8 million from a sales tax exemption on agricultural fencing.
· Property Tax Hurricane Relief of $10.5 Million for Florida´s Farmers – The bill reduces the 2018 property tax assessment on citrus processing and packing plants, and processing equipment slowed due to citrus greening or Hurricane Irma.
· Sales Tax on Commercial Rent to Save Florida Small Businesses $31 Million – The tax cut package reduces the rate on business rent tax by 0.1%, from 5.8% to 5.7%.
· Increase in Corporate Income Tax Credits to Save Businesses $13.5 Million
o $8.5 million for voluntary brownfields clean-up; and
o $5 million for community contribution credits.
· Reduction in Traffic Citation Fines to Save Floridians $1.8 Million – The bill reduces many traffic citation fines for individuals who attend a driver improvement school.
· Reduction in Local Business Taxes of $19.1 Million – The bill creates an exemption from applicable local business taxes for businesses owned by veterans and their spouses, non-remarried surviving spouses of such veterans, spouses of certain active duty military servicemembers, and low-income persons who engage in or manage a business, profession, or occupation.
· Reduction in Property Taxes to Save Florida Families $377 Million – The budget cuts the required local effort property tax rate to save Florida homeowners and business property owners more than $377 million in property taxes.
Amendment to the Florida Constitution:
This year, the Florida Legislature overwhelmingly passed a resolution proposed by Governor Scott that will make it harder for politicians to raise taxes and fees. Amendment 5, if approved by 60 percent of Florida voters this year, will require a 2/3 majority of future legislatures to raise any tax or fee.