“Make those calls. We still have two weeks in session.”
Representative Jim Boyd (R- Bradenton) House Deputy Majority Leader and Majority Whip
Representative Boyd has led the Florida Chamber-backed charge on economic development in the Florida House with a bill that passed 79-39.
“It was a great effort by many people, first of all,” said Rep. Boyd. “The speaker was instrumental in getting that across the finish line… Between the House, and the Senate and the governor, we all collaborated and came to a bill that we thought was acceptable to all three parties.”
Bills like Rep. Boyd’s economic development bill would help diversify our state’s economy, yet as of now, there are $0 in funding for Enterprise Florida.
“Unfortunately and sadly it’s getting kind of late in the process,” said Rep. Boyd. “In order for something to change it would have to change very quickly because I think all involved would like to have the budget finalized this next week. Calls, if there are any Senators of influence that your members might have that would affect some rethinking on the issue, they need to be made pretty quickly.”
The Florida House started with a $1 billion tax cut package that included many Florida Chamber priorities, like permanently reducing the manufacturing and equipment sales tax, the first step down on the business rent tax plus and increase in the R&D cap. Now, the tax cut package stands at $400 million.
“I’m a little disappointed that we aren’t closer to the number we thought we could get to, especially with regards to the commercial lease sales tax- I think that’s just something we’ve got to eliminate,” said Rep. Boyd. “Sales tax holidays are important to Floridians and to families. $400 million is still a large number in terms of a tax cut when we look at some of the states around the country that are having some serious problems. We’ve come a long way over the years…its nice we can argue if it should be $400 million, $500 billion or a billion. I’m starting to sense that it’ll be closer to where it is now… than the billion that we asked for.”
Upcoming issues in the final days of session include gaming bills, which according to Rep. Boyd, “That’s a big issue all across Florida in a variety of ways. There needs to some finality to that one way or another in terms of what we are going to do.”
Pension reform is also one pending issue awaiting to be taken up by the Senate. But in order to push change, Rep. Boyd calls on Florida Chamber members to get involved.
“Make those calls,” said Rep. Boyd. “We still have two weeks in session. So if your members feel passionate about it as we do, and I believe those members will, that’s something that we really needs to finalize.