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Weekly Legislative Update from February 23, 2018


HJR 7001-Relating to Supermajority Vote for State Taxes and Fees

On Tuesday, February 20th, HJR 7001, by Representative Tom Leek (R-Daytona Beach) was heard by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance and Tax and passed by a vote of 4 yeas to 2 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

After this joint resolution passed the House floor the Senate chamber referred the bill to the committee referenced above and the Senate Committee on Appropriations before being heard on the Senate floor.

During committee, HJR 7001 was amended to reflect the provision of the Senate version of the bill. HJR 7001 proposes an amendment to the State Constitution requiring any law that imposes a new tax, increases the rate or amount of a tax, or expands a tax base, and that results in a net increase in state revenues, to be approved by three-fifths of the membership of each house of the Legislature.

The amendment proposed in the joint resolution will take effect on January 8, 2019, if approved by sixty percent of the voters during the 2018 general election or earlier special election specifically authorized by law for that purpose.

HJR 7001 will go on to the Senate Committee on Appropriations to be heard.

AIF supports this legislation requiring two-thirds vote from each house of the legislature to pass tax increases in the state. This action would that would make it more difficult to raise taxes, leaving more money in the pockets of Florida’s families and business.


HB 7087-Relating to Taxation

On Thursday, February 22nd, HB 7087, by the House Ways and Means Committee and Representative Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) and passed by a vote of 18 yeas to 7 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

The bill provides for a wide range of tax reductions designed to directly impact both families and businesses. The total impact for the fiscal year of 2018 and 2019 is $331.3 million in reductions.

The bill contains several provisions related to sales tax that include priorities important to AIF and its members.

Specifically, it includes:

  • Tax rate reduction for tax on commercial rentals (business rent tax) from 5.8% to 5.5%.
  • New, extended, or expanded sales tax exemptions for:
    • Certain generators for nursing homes and assisted living facilities; o
    • Certain purchases of agriculture related fencing materials and building materials for repair of storm damage from Hurricane Irma;
  • Sales tax holidays:
    • A ten-day “back-to-school” holiday for clothing, footwear, school supplies, and computers; 
    • Three seven-day “disaster preparedness” holiday for sales of specified items related to disaster preparedness.

Also added to the tax package this year, is language that prevents local governments from banning the sale of anything subject to the state sales tax. This will streamline regulation of business in the state and prevent municipalities from hindering business with local ordinances.

HB 7087 will go on to the House floor for consideration.

AIF supports tax cuts for Florida’s families and businesses that aid in relief after the events of a disastrous hurricane season. AIF supports incremental reductions of the business rent tax to make Florida more attractive to business.