By: Chad Kunde, Director of Business Climate and Governance Policy, Florida Chamber of Commerce
The sales tax rate levied on Florida businesses renting or leasing commercial property, also known as the business rent tax (BRT), was reduced from 5.5 to 4.5 percent effective last Friday, December 1. For more information on how the tax cut could impact your business, click here.
With the one percent reduction, the Florida-only BRT is now leveled at 4.5 percent, following nominal decreases from six to 5.5 percent beginning in 2017. In 2021, at the urging of the Florida Chamber, Senate Bill 50 passed and was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis, which will eventually lead to a reduction of the business rent tax down to two percent after the unemployment trust fund is replenished to pre-pandemic levels. While the 3.5 percent reduction was significant, it did not provide immediate relief as the projected date for the rate reduction is August 2024. To provide more immediate relief, during the 2023 legislative session, the Florida Chamber effectively advocated for a further reduction to the tax from the previous 5.5 percent to now 4.5 percent effective December 1, 2023, for eight months.
Why it Matters:
This one percent reduction over the next eight months represents a substantial $216 million in savings for local businesses, savings that can be utilized to fuel business growth, generate new employment opportunities, and make meaningful investments in the workforce. The positive impact on Florida’s economy will be even more pronounced with the further reduction in 2024 and, ultimately, the complete repeal of the business rent tax. Despite Florida maintaining a generally favorable business environment, the burden of this tax places local businesses at a competitive disadvantage, as the tax is exclusive to Florida. Beyond its localized impact, fostering a business-friendly tax climate is pivotal not only for attracting out-of-state businesses but also for encouraging Florida-based businesses to expand within the state instead of seeking opportunities elsewhere. Over the past decade, the Florida Chamber has tirelessly advocated for the reduction and eventual elimination of the BRT, and while progress has been made, Florida remains the only state in the country to levy this tax.
Call to Action:
Now is the moment for the business community to come together to eliminate the Florida-only business rent tax – a hindrance to job creation and a factor placing Florida local businesses at a competitive disadvantage compared to businesses in every other state in our nation. Please share your story of how this Florida-only tax negatively impacts your business or join the coalition to repeal this tax by contacting Chad Kunde at (850) 521-1268 or firstname.lastname@example.org.