$1.2 billion tax package sails through Senate Appropriations

by | Apr 25, 2023

  • The Florida Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 7062, a $1.2 billion tax package that includes Governor Ron DeSantis’ tax cut proposals.
  • The bill proposes various sales tax exemptions and tax holidays, covering items such as school supplies, disaster preparedness, skilled worker tools, and even greywater system installations for water conservation efforts.
  • The legislation also aims to stimulate thoroughbred horse breeding and racing with a $27 million fund, and establish the Main Street Historic Tourism and Revitalization Act to provide tax credits for restoring certified historic buildings or structures.

The Florida Legislature appears to be on the verge of approving a substantial $1.2 billion tax package, which would grant both permanent and temporary tax relief to the state’s residents. Senate Bill 7062 encompasses Governor Ron DeSantis’ tax cut proposals, which could lead to over $3 billion in tax savings for Floridians if signed into law.

The bill includes ongoing sales tax exemptions for items such as diapers and incontinence products, clothing, baby and toddler products, learning aids, oral hygiene products, firearm safety devices, and equipment used in natural gas production. The Senate Finance and Tax Committee gave its approval on April 18, and the Appropriations Committee unanimously supported the bill in a vote earlier Tuesday morning.

If enacted, the bill would establish a back-to-school sales tax holiday from July 24 to August 6, offering tax breaks on personal computers, school clothing, and puzzles, with another tax-free period in January. A sales tax-free week for disaster preparedness would take place from May 27 to June 9, covering items such as dry pet food, battery packs, self-powered radios, waterproof sheeting, and fuel.

The proposed “freedom summer” initiative would run from May through September, featuring discounted prices for concerts, theater performances, and events. Sales tax exemptions would apply to camping gear, water sports equipment, fishing supplies, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

DeSantis is also proposing relief for frequent toll booth users by refunding up to 50% of their expenses, which can amount to hundreds of dollars annually. Skilled workers would benefit from a sales tax holiday in September, covering items like hand tools, power tools, batteries, work gloves, safety glasses, work boots, and protective coveralls.

The bill encourages property owners to install greywater systems by offering a refund of up to 50% of the cost, as part of Florida’s efforts to conserve fresh water resources. Additionally, the legislation earmarks $27 million for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to stimulate thoroughbred horse breeding and racing in the state.

The Main Street Historic Tourism and Revitalization Act would also be established under the bill, providing tax credits for qualified expenses incurred in restoring certified historic buildings or structures. Previously, privately-owned or for-profit historic buildings were ineligible for grants.

Several local taxes would be subject to ballot approval in general elections within 48 months before increases or renewals by referendum, with a prohibition on appearing on the ballot more than once during that period.

Senate Bill 7062 received unanimous bipartisan support during the Senate Committee hearing on Finance and Tax, where it was adopted as a committee bill. Committee chair and State Senator Blaise Ingoglia  expressed the possibility of further tax cuts through negotiations with the House.

1 Comment

  1. Jackson

    Wow! Government actually taking steps to reduce taxpayers’ burden?! No wonder people can’t get out of their failed blue states fast enough. Here’s to The Sunshine State and its great Governor. I’m packing my bags….”

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