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Weekly Legislative Update from March 20, 2015

Environment & Agriculture

SB 398- Relating to Agriculture Tax Exemptions
On Monday, March 16th, SB 398, relating to Agriculture Tax Exemptions, by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) unanimously passed through its second stop in the Senate Finance and Tax Committee with 7 yeas and 0 nays.

SB 398 expands the sales tax exemption on certain farm equipment to include; equipment used for the storage of raw products on a farm, irrigation equipment, trailers used in agricultural production and transportation, stakes used by farmers to support plants during agricultural production, and the repairing of power farm equipment and irrigation equipment.

This bill will now head to its last stop in the Senate Appropriations Committee. AIF stood in support of this bill.

AIF supports the Agriculture Tax Exemption Bill. Florida’s farmers are at a competitive disadvantage to farmers in neighboring states who do not pay sales tax on equipment used for the harvesting and production of crops.

HB 569- Relating to Agritourism
On Thursday, March 19th, HB 569, relating to Agritourism, by Rep. Neil Combee (R-Auburndale) unanimously passed through its final stop in the House, the House State Affairs Committee with 16 yeas and 0 nays

This bill would remove the ability of local governments to regulate the activities of Agritourism.

HB 569 has now been placed on the calendar for its second reading. AIF stood in support of this bill.

AIF supports any legislation that allows Florida farmers to safely expand their businesses through the use of Agritourism.

HB 137- Relating to Civil Liability of Farmers
On Tuesday, March 17th, HB 137, relating to the Civil Liability of Farmers, by Rep. Kevin Rader (D-Boca Raton) unanimously passed through the House Civil Justice Subcommittee with 13 yeas and 0 nays.

This bill addresses an exemption from civil liability for farmers who allow citizens onto their land to harvest excess crops. AIF stood in support.

AIF supports legislation that will reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits brought against Florida’s business owners.