Lawmakers Considering Two E-Verify Bills

As you know, the Florida Chamber has long advocated for Congress to fix our broken federal immigration system, preferring a comprehensive, federal solution to a state-by-state patchwork of proposed fixes. The Florida Chamber has also consistently opposed any measure that unreasonably burdens Florida businesses.


Both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate have primed two proposals for the consideration of their respective chambers, but the measures are still far apart. Senate Bill 664 was amended in the last committee stop with several new provisions. The House Bill has not changed since its last stop. Below is a summary of both bills.

SB 664HB 1265
Requires E-Verify for all government contractors and subcontractors?YesYes
Requires E-Verify for Florida Businesses?YesYes
Can Other Systems Be Lawful Under Certain Circumstances?Yes, under a “substantially similar” system as defined by Department rule.Yes, if employee can provide the same documentation required by the Form I-9.
Small Business Exemption?Yes, for businesses under 50 employeesNo.
What State Entities Have Access to My Employee’s Data?If your business does not use the E-Verify system, the following entities may ask, and businesses must provide, the complete copies of all records used to establish identity:
• Any state agency
• Any federal agency
If your business does not use the E-Verify system, the following entities may ask, and businesses must provide, any documentation relied upon for verification of identity:
• FDLE
• Attorney General
• State Attorneys
• Statewide Prosecutor
May the State Remove Business Licenses for Non-compliance?YesYes
Is a New Cause of Action Created Against Employers?No, this provision was removed during the committee process.No, this provision was removed during the committee process.
Are Safe Harbors for Liability Created for Law Abiding Businesses?YesYes
Can Anyone File a Complaint Against My Company?Yes, any individual with a “good faith belief” may file a complaint against a business alleging the hiring of unlawful workers.No

We have ten days left in regular session. If your business would be negatively impacted by these proposed bills, please contact Christopher Emmanuel at cemmanuel@flchamber.com soon.

Florida-Only E-Verify Proposal on Senate Committee Agenda Tomorrow

On February 18, the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee will hear legislation mandating private sector use of the federal E-Verify program, Senate Bill 664. The text of the bill, which was amended to address several business-sector concerns at the last committee stop, can be found here.

An amendment has been filed to remove the agricultural exemption that was added in its first committee stop and additional amendments are expected as this legislation progresses. This is its second of three committee stops in the Senate. The House companion bill has not been heard yet, although that may soon change. The House bill has also yet to be amended and retains several anti-business provisions. The full text of that bill can be found here.

The Florida Chamber continues to have reservations on this Florida-only mandate, believing that comprehensive immigration reform must be done at the federal level rather than through a series of state-by-state fixes. We will continue to work with legislative leaders in both the House and the Senate to ensure that any law will not unfairly harm Florida’s competitiveness or economy.

Share Your Thoughts

Please let us know how SB 664 will impact your business. You can contact Policy Director Christopher Emmanuel at cemmanuel@flchamber.com.

Florida Chamber Releases 2020 Jobs Agenda

FLORIDA CHAMBER’S 2020 JOBS AGENDA

Keeping Florida’s Momentum Going and Predicting 200,000 New Jobs in 2020

“Making Florida more competitive is essential for job and economic growth.”

MARK WILSON, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce

TALLAHASSEE, FL (January 13, 2020) – Job creators are gathering in Tallahassee this week with optimism that Florida can keep the momentum going, create 200,000 new jobs this year, and strengthen Florida’s economy even more through actions by the Florida Legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis. Additionally, job creators have released the Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda, commonly referred to as the Florida Business Agenda, which highlights where the Florida Chamber stands on key legislative decisions. 

Business leaders from throughout Florida are gathering this week at the Capitol as part of the Florida Chamber’s Annual Legislative Fly-In, and are sharing the Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda which will help create jobs, lower the cost of living and lift incomes – with the belief that Florida’s best days are yet to come.

The Florida Chamber is uniting the business community for good to:

– Lower the Cost of Living,
-Reduce the Cost of Doing Business, and
-Better Prepare for Florida’s Future Growth.

These are ideas outlined in Florida’s 2030 Blueprint, commonly known as Florida’s next Strategic Plan.

“The Florida Chamber’s annual jobs and competitiveness agenda – the Florida Business Agenda – is a set of priorities that will help grow private sector jobs, continue to create economic opportunity in Florida and further diversify our economy,” said Charles Caulkins, Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Partner at Fisher Phillips.

For the last nine years, Florida has outpaced the U.S. economy in job growth. As Florida will grow at approximately 900 new residents daily, Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish predicts that Florida will create 200,000 new jobs in 2020 and that the Sunshine State has a lower probability of recession than last year.

“If Florida was a stock, it would be considered a strong buy. While Florida’s economic outlook for 2020 is positive, it’s not without risks which is why passing the Florida Chamber’s Jobs Agenda is so important,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda Includes:

Lowering the Cost of Living:

Lawsuit abuse essentially amounts to additional taxes on Florida families over $4,000 each year. Florida’s lawsuit climate currently ranks 46 out of 50 in a national survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

  • The Florida Legislature should improve Florida’s legal climate by passing common-sense reforms to curtail abuse of Florida’s legal system.

“If we make the legal climate so it’s based on the clients rather than the attorneys, I think that would be a better climate,” Governor Ron DeSantis said when the national survey ranking Florida’s lawsuit climate among the nation’s worst was released.

Reducing Florida’s Cost of Doing Business:

Discouraging and anti-competitive tax policies, like the Florida-only business rent tax and lack of internet sales tax collection, make Florida less competitive.

  • The Florida Legislature should advance globally competitive tax policies by reducing the Business Rent Tax and modernizing Florida’s tax code to collect sales tax on internet transactions from out-of-state retailers.

Preparing for the Future Growth:

According to www.TheFloridaScorecard.org, there are 284,800 jobs looking for people and 323,000 people looking for jobs. Finding a qualified workforce is a top concern for job creators. Employers need talent that is prepared to enter the workforce, and Florida wins when we close the talent gap.

The Florida Legislature should:

  • Continue to focus on early learning, talent and workforce shortage solutions. 
  • Continue to support the legislatively-created Talent Development Council to develop a coordinated, data-driven, statewide approach to meeting Florida’s needs for a 21st century workforce that employers and educators use as part of Florida’s talent supply system. This also supports Governor DeSantis’s efforts to have the number one workforce in America.

By 2030, 4.5 million more residents will call Florida home. A growing Florida means a growing need for forward-thinking infrastructure investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, agriculture and other hard and soft infrastructure sectors.

The Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition recommends that the Florida Legislature:

  • Continue to make long-term investments in energy, transportation, resiliency and water policy for Florida’s future.

Florida is currently experiencing a shortage of access to high-value, quality healthcare and that is a problem that will continue to grow as Florida’s population grows. That is why we support expanding scope of practice laws to allow for greater access to care, particularly in rural and underserved communities.

The Florida Chamber’s Healthcare Partnership encourages the Florida Legislature to:

  • Support expanding scope of practice for Advanced Practitioners and allow them to practice medicine to the full extent of their education and training.

“Year after year, the Florida Chamber has been at the forefront of solving issues that impact the competitiveness and future of Florida’s business climate. Our focus remains steadfast in our efforts to be the driving force uniting Florida’s business community for good, creating economic opportunity and growing jobs,” Wilson added.

The Florida Chamber will track each bill on the Florida Business Agenda, and votes will be used as the basis for grading lawmakers at the conclusion of the Legislative Session. We look forward to working with Governor DeSantis, Senate President Bill Galvano and Speaker of the House Jose Oliva to keep Florida’s momentum going.

The Florida Chamber’s 2020 Florida Business Agenda can be downloaded HERE.

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Florida Chamber Signs On To United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Coalition Support Letter

December 17, 2019

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:

On behalf of the undersigned business and agriculture organizations and chambers of commerce from across the United States, we are writing to urge you to support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. USMCA is critical to our economic future because it will preserve and strengthen U.S. trade ties to Canada and Mexico.

More than 12 million American jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico. U.S. manufacturers export more made-in-America manufactured goods to our North American neighbors than they do to the next 11 largest export markets combined, and the two countries account for nearly one-third of U.S. agricultural exports. They are also the top two export destinations for U.S. small and medium-size businesses, more than 120,000 of which sell their goods and services to Canada and Mexico.

Approval of USMCA will ensure U.S. manufacturers, farmers, and service providers can continue to access the Canadian and Mexican markets. The new pact guarantees that virtually all U.S. exports will enter these markets tariff-free.

USMCA will also modernize North American trade rules. For example, when NAFTA was negotiated a quarter century ago, there was no e-commerce; consequently, the agreement did not address this sector. While no trade agreement is perfect, USMCA’s updated trade rules in areas such digital trade, services, and non-tariff barriers promise substantial benefits.

By creating a level playing field for trade in North America, USMCA will help U.S. companies and the workers they employ compete in our top two export markets. The case for the agreement’s approval is strong. We urge Congress to approve USMCA as soon as possible.

Indexing Capital Gains Basis for Inflation

Dear Mr. President,

The Florida Chamber of Commerce strongly supports a pro-growth tax agenda and Florida’s businesses, families and economy have benefited from the monumental reforms in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. As you continue to build on these successes, I urge you to act within your executive authority to index capital gains for inflation.

Indexing capital gains for inflation ensures that taxes are only paid on the value of the real gain. Capital assets, such as stock or real estate, are generally held for long periods of time and over time the value of that asset grows. Inflation during this period makes up a portion of that gain, creating a phantom gain where the value increases but the spending power related to that asset does not.

Indexing to inflation is not a new tax policy and other portions of the federal income tax are already indexed for inflation. Indexing capital gains for inflation would encourage economic growth and could lead to additional capital investment in real estate and the financial markets. It would also result in additional spending power in the form of lower, or more accurate, taxes on the gain.

In Florida alone, nearly 1.5 million households had a capital gains filing on their income tax return and over 60 percent of these households made less than $100,000 annually. The impact of a capital gains tax is significant to middle-class Floridians and Americans, as well as the job creators that continue to make our state and national economies grow. You have the opportunity to lower that burden.

Under your leadership, the most significant tax reform in over three decades has already occurred and the United States economy has soared to new heights. Indexing of capital gains is not only smart public policy, but a chance to inject additional growth into the economy and further your legacy as President. It is within your authority to index capital gains, and we encourage you to direct the Department of Treasury to move forward on adopting these new changes to the tax code.

Sincerely,

David A. Hart
Executive Vice President
Florida Chamber of Commerce

2020 Florida Business Leaders’ Summit on Prosperity and Economic Opportunity

Did you know more than 3 million Floridians live in poverty? Of those, more than 260,000 are under age 5.

Join business and industry leaders as well as elected officials and community voices us as we analyze a path to prosperity for each of Florida’s zip codes. We will also discuss best practices around the state, how they can be replicated and more. Conversations will also focus around 10 topic areas that the Florida Chamber Foundation’s research shows are: Jobs, Education, Housing, Health, Food, Safety, Child care, Justice, Transportation and Agency-Community voice.

Florida Business Leaders Summit on Prosperity and Economic Opportunity
May 19, 2020
The Westin Sarasota
Sarasota, Florida

To have your logo featured here, click here or contact Aaron Kinnon at AKinnon@FlFoundation.org.

Q&A: Protecting Florida’s Beaches, Our Tourism Economy and Military Operations

Q: What coastal protections does Florida currently have regarding offshore energy production?


A: Until January 2022, offshore oil and gas drilling is prohibited by federal law from taking place east of the Military Mission Line or within 125 miles of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Oil and gas drilling are prohibited by state law from taking place within 3 nautical miles of Florida’s Atlantic Coast and the Florida Straits. In 2018, Florida residents voted to implement a constitutional amendment that would prohibit any oil and gas development in all state waters.

Q: How does the 2018 voter approved constitutional ballot measure impact oil and gas development in Florida waters?


A: In 2018, Florida voters approved a prohibition of exploration and extraction of oil or natural gas beneath all state waters that lie between the mean high-water line and the outermost boundaries of the state’s territorial seas. The constitutional prohibition does not apply to the transportation of oil and gas, nor does it prohibit extraction outside of Florida’s state boundaries. This is an important distinction because not all the coastal water visible from Florida’s shore is Florida’s to regulate. Much of it is under federal protection and purview.

Q: Is it true that starting in 2022, the state of Florida will only have the ability to restrict offshore energy development in its own waters?


A: The current federal moratorium on oil and gas development off of Florida’s Gulf Coast will expire in June 2022. Unless a new agreement is reached or law enacted, Florida will only be able to restrict energy development to Florida waters. That is why the Florida Chamber is insisting on an agreement.

Protecting Florida’s Tourism:

Q: How far out in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean do Florida state waters reach?


A: Florida state waters extend from the shore to at least 3 nautical miles out in the Atlantic and from the shore to 9 nautical miles out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Q: How far into the waters off Florida’s beaches can you see?


A: If you’re standing on the average Florida beach, you can see a little over 3 miles out into the ocean. If you’re on the 10th floor of a Florida beachfront hotel, you can generally see about 15 miles out. If you’re on a balcony at Miami’s 85-story Panorama Tower (Florida’s tallest building), you can see about 38 miles out into the ocean.

Q: What is tourism’s economic impact on Florida’s economy?


A: Florida’s world-class, tourism-based economy supports 1.4 million jobs and brings more than $90 billion to Florida each year. Last year more than 124.6 million people visited Florida, and an additional 50 million will visit us annually in future years.

Protecting Florida’s Military:

Q: How does the United States military utilize Florida’s waters?


A: Missions utilizing the Eastern Gulf of Mexico include research activity, technology demonstrations, air-to-air and air-to-ground (surface) missile testing (including the use of drone targets), combat surface ship qualification trials, mine warfare testing and training, and explosive ordnance disposal training.

Q: Who oversees Florida’s military operations? Do the Department of Defense, and the Department of Interior (the federal agency which oversees offshore energy development) coordinate to ensure that military training is not impaired?


A: The U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Interior coordinate and have established strict safety standards under a 1983 memorandum of agreement, which ensures that the military’s critical missions are not impaired by commercial or recreational activities. These standards have been successfully protecting both military operations and civilian activity in federal waters for decades.

Q: How big of an economic impact does the military play in Florida’s economy?


A: The military and defense sectors contribute $84.9 billion annually to Florida’s economy.

What Other States are Doing:

Q: How are Florida’s neighboring states reacting to offshore energy production?


A: The economies of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are strongly tied to the jobs directly and indirectly created by the offshore energy industry. These states have seen offshore development off their coast for more than 60 years. Additionally, these states receive a portion of federal revenue from the proceeds of offshore lease sales. Louisiana received a total of $94.7 million in funding in 2018, while Texas, Mississippi and Alabama received $57.9 million, $31.7 million and $30.6 million respectively.

To learn more, read Florida is Special. Let’s Keep it That Way, or contact David Hart at dhart@flchamber.com.

Florida is Special. Let’s Keep it That Way

One thing most Floridians can agree on is that Florida is special. We enjoy beautiful weather, one of the nation’s best education systems, incredible beaches, a military infrastructure vital to our way of life, a $1 trillion and growing annual economy and a shared spirit of optimism about our future.

However, it is going to take a strong collective effort on all our parts to truly secure Florida’s future.

That’s because in 2022, the current moratorium on drilling for oil virtually anywhere in the Gulf of Mexico expires.

If Congress fails to generate bipartisan support, and the current moratorium expires, oil platforms could be sitting just nine miles off Florida’s coastline, where Florida waters end and federal waters begin.

Perhaps that fact alone got your attention. I hope so.

But there’s more to the story.

There will be no protections in place unless, before 2022, a majority of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives and a supermajority of 60 bipartisan members of the U.S. Senate reach agreement on some form of extension that the President would agree to sign into law.

Given the partisanship and political stalemate right now in our nation’s capital, this is no small order.

President Donald Trump has called for the United States to achieve not just energy independence, but energy dominance. This is certainly a worthy goal, to ensure we are not constantly held hostage for our energy needs by regimes that rarely have our interests at heart, like Venezuela and Iran.

A major building block of the Trump Administration’s energy dominance goal is the upcoming Department of Interior five-year plan.

As Floridians, we would be wise to assume that opening up new energy exploration areas in the Gulf of Mexico could be part of the federal plan.

Equally, we must understand that the combination of this forthcoming plan and the impending end to the drilling moratorium requires us to act to set the terms which will protect Florida and its unparalleled natural beauty.

We don’t doubt that somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, far from our shores, there are energy resources that can be safely extracted and contribute to the economy and energy security of the U.S. There are already 2,557 active leases and 3,200 active oil drilling platforms in the Gulf now, distant from our beaches and ocean views.

To provide certainty for Florida, leaders in Congress must begin meaningful negotiations to address this challenge. We understand that this will be a difficult process and that some compromises will be necessary. However, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is prepared to support a negotiated plan so long as it meets the following requirements:

  1. Protects Florida’s beautiful beaches and natural habitats, which are the core of our quality of life and a major reason why 124.6 million people visited Florida last year – and an additional 50 million will visit us annually.
  2. Does no harm to our world-class, tourism-based economy, which supports 1.4 million jobs and brings more than $90 billion to our state each year.
  3. Exists in harmony with the current and future military operations – including Space Force – that take place in the Gulf of Mexico. Those missions are vital to our national security, and the military and defense sectors contribute $84.9 billion annually to our economy.

These are the principles we will advocate be addressed in any negotiations in Congress, and they should inform any deal that sets forth what will happen after 2022. We also will ensure that any final deal guarantees that if exploration does happen in the Gulf, it will only happen at a significant enough distance away to protect what makes Florida special.

We must not lose sight of the reality that if Congress fails to act it means the current moratorium expires in barely three years, and we could be seeing oil rigs from Naples, Clearwater, Destin or any of our beautiful beaches.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce is and will always be engaged in protecting Florida’s interests and securing its future, so we will vigorously seek support for a compromise that meets our three requirements.

Florida is special and we must unite as Floridians to keep it that way. If we all work together, we can secure a deal that meets these three non-negotiable principles and protects the natural beauty we all love.

Mark Wilson is President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at mwilson@flchamber.com.

Florida Chamber of Commerce Leads Delegation of Job Creators to Washington, D.C.

Advocacy Efforts Focus on Trade, Private Sector Job Growth and Economic Prosperity

WASHINGTON D.C. (May 14, 2019) — The Florida Chamber of Commerce is taking its advocacy efforts to Washington, D.C. this week, in support of private-sector job creation, international trade, and creating more opportunities for economic prosperity. The Florida Chamber’s delegation includes business leaders from across Florida, representing small businesses and the state’s largest employers, and will include meetings with Florida’s Congressional Delegation, federal agencies and foreign dignitaries.

Spearheaded by the Florida Chamber’s federal advocacy team, the “D.C. Fly-In” is occurring while the nation’s Capital celebrates National Infrastructure Week, and falls on the heels of the Florida Chamber’s reinforced undertaking of its long and steady infrastructure and growth leadership efforts through the Florida Chamber Infrastructure Coalition.

“While new trade tariffs on China have just gone into effect, many in Florida remain eager for Congress to advance a vote on the United States Mexico Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) as soon as possible,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to sharing that message in Washington, D.C. as well as advocating for the new Space Command military branch to be located in Florida.”

The Florida Chamber’s “D.C. Fly-In” delegation will focus their attention on promoting Florida as a destination for foreign direct investment, a hub for global trade and more. Meetings will take place with:

  • United States Senator Marco Rubio (R)
  • United States Senator Rick Scott (R)
  • Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D, FL-7)
  • Congressman Michael Waltz (R, FL 6)
  • Congressman Vern Buchanan (R, FL-16)
  • Congressman Dan Webster (R, FL-11)
  • Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R, FL-25)
  • William Zarit, Chairman, American Chamber of Commerce in China
  • And more.

# # #

Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

2019 Florida Chamber D.C. Fly-In

The Florida Chamber of Commerce advocates at all levels of government – local, state and federal – to ensure Florida is moving in the right direction, and Florida businesses are being heard on the issues that matter to them.

With that in mind, you are invited to join us on May 14-16 for a unique experience in our nation’s capital in support of private-sector job creation, regulatory reform and creating opportunities for economic prosperity. The Florida Chamber’s D.C. Fly-In has tailored a dynamic program with members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation and leaders of federal agencies to advance the Florida Chamber’s policy agenda. 

A tentative schedule, as well as additional information, is shown below for your convenience.

Please contact Dan Tapia at (850) 521-1206 or dtapia@flchamber.com to reserve your space and secure additional hotel information today.

Thank you for your dedication to free enterprise, and to the Florida Chamber. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C. May 14-16 for the Florida Chamber’s D.C. Fly-In.

Legislature Begins Examining Federal Tax Reform Impacts on Florida

The House Ways and Means Committee has begun its initial work of examining the impact of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) for Florida corporate income tax purposes. Today, the committee heard a presentation from committee staff and the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) on how the changes to the Internal Revenue Code are impacting corporations in Florida and have expanded the tax base. Like many other states, Florida uses federal taxable income as a starting point to determine Florida income for the purposes of corporate income tax. Because of the many changes contained within the TCJA, it is estimated that a full adoption, or “piggyback” of these changes, would increase Florida’s tax base by 13 percent.

This follows a nearly year-long review by DOR at the direction of the Legislature. DOR recently released an examination of the TCJA and identified 14 topics that will have a significant impact on Florida’s corporate income tax. These topics are the same that have been identified in previous status reports and have been brought to DOR through public testimony, including:

  • Like-kind exchanges,
  • Global Intangible Low-Tax Income (GILTI), and
  • Net interest deductions.

The final report includes a full analysis of each topic, including an analysis on the impact to state revenue. The Florida Chamber offered comment in a written letter to the Department of Revenue encouraging Florida to decouple from the GILTI and net interest deduction changes in the TCJA. The Florida Chamber will continue to be engaged as this is the initial step as the Florida Legislature uses the information from this report and today’s workshop to implement federal tax reform changes for state corporate income tax purposes.

Share With Your CFO

Share this important message with your company’s CFO to help ensure they have the latest information on this important issue. For more details, contact Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com or at 850-521-1235 to get involved in our efforts to ensure Florida’s tax climate remains competitive.

New Report Highlights Federal Tax Reform Impacts on Florida 

The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) recently released an examination of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017’s (TCJA) impact in Florida – a nearly year-long review that was directed by the Florida Legislature. Like many other states, Florida uses federal taxable income as a starting point to determine Florida income for the purposes of corporate income tax. Because of the many changes contained within the TCJA, it is estimated that a full adoption, or “piggyback” of these changes, would increase Florida’s tax base by 13 percent.

DOR identified 14 topics that will have a significant impact on Florida’s corporate income tax.  These topics are the same that have been identified in previous status reports and have been brought to DOR through public testimony, including:

  • Like-kind exchanges,
  • Global Intangible Low-Tax Income (GILTI) and
  • Net interest deductions.

The final report includes a full analysis of each topic, including an analysis on the impact to state revenue. The Florida Chamber offered comment in a written letter to the Department of Revenue encouraging Florida to decouple from the GILTI and net interest deduction changes in the TCJA.  We will continue to be engaged as the Florida Legislature uses the information from this report to implement federal tax reform changes for state corporate income tax purposes.

Share With Your CFO

Share this important message with your company’s CFO to help ensure they have the latest information on this important issue. For more details, contact Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com or at 850-521-1235 to get involved in our efforts to ensure Florida’s tax climate remains competitive.

E-Verify Legislation Filed in Senate and House

As 2018 winds down, the 2019 Legislative Session is beginning to take shape as bills are continuing to be filed even as we approach the holidays. One notable piece of legislation that was filed yesterday afternoon is SB 164, sponsored by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville). This bill would mandate businesses to utilize the federal E-Verify program for all new hires beginning as early as 2020.  You can read the legislative text of SB 164 here.  This bill is similar to HB 89 filed in the House by Representative Thad Altman (R-Indialantic).

The Florida Chamber has already reached out to Senator Bean, and as this news article reports, the Florida Chamber will remain engaged in ensuring Florida’s businesses remain competitive, while maintaining a lawful, safe, and productive workforce where Florida job creators are not unduly burdened.

Tell Us Your Thoughts

Please contact Chris Emmanuel at cemmanuel@flchamber.com or (850) 521-1242 with any feedback on how this legislation would impact your business if signed into law.

Florida Department of Revenue Seeks Comments on Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact

The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) is asking business leaders for their thoughts and comments regarding the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its effect on the state corporate income tax.

The Florida Legislature and the Department of Revenue are relying heavily on public comment to identify areas where the state tax base may be expanded and how the Tax Cats and Jobs Act might increase state taxes on businesses.  Changes to how Florida adopts the Internal Revenue Code for state tax purposes are expected to be adopted in the 2019 Legislative Session.

Comments may be submitted by email to: CITReview@floridarevenue.com or by regular mail to: Corporate Income Tax Review, c/o Director of Legislative and Cabinet Services, Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 5906, Tallahassee, Florida 32314-5906. These comments will be posted to DOR’s website.

In addition, DOR will be holding two public workshops to receive public comments on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the first of which will be held August 22, 2018 at 9 AM EST in Tallahassee. Those unable to attend in person can register by webinar here.

For more information, please visit the DOR website.

Intersection: The Impact of Tariffs on Florida’s Trillion Dollar Economy

Listen to Alice Ancona, Director of International Strategy and Policy, with the Florida Chamber of Commerce explain the potential impacts of a trade war on Florida’s economy on 90.7 WMFE.

 

Could tariffs hurt Florida’s $1 trillion economy?  Tariffs and the threat of trade war are leaving Florida businesses worried.

Alice Ancona, director of International Strategy and Policy with the Florida Chamber of Commerce says manufacturing is feeling the impact.

“Some of those imported components will certainly add to the costs either making the production of these final products cost prohibitive or being unable to fulfill a contract based on escalated costs due to the tariffs that are being implemented,” Ancona says.

She says international trade is a quarter of Florida’s economy and these tariffs are “a pretty significant impact.”

“It’s not an immediate hit, but we are very concerned about what the long term impact could be to manufacturing activity and our exporting potential,” Ancona says.

Ancona says investments are an important part of “what we do as our trade portfolio.”

“These actions on tariffs could also jeopardize or impact our investments, foreign-direct investments into the state. These are relationships that we have built over the years and they’re based on our ability to be good trading partners with the rest of the world,” she says.

She says she hopes this can start a conversation on fairer trade.

“I think there’s pretty good documentation that U.S. companies have not had a level playing field internationally and those are issues that need to be addressed. A trade war is not exactly the best way to do that, but perhaps that could lead to a positive income and outcome and we can avoid an all out trade war and address those unfair trading practices.”