“The priorities that we reflected in the house’s no tax is safe tax cut plan are many of the priorities we heard from businesses that spoke through the Florida Chamber of Commerce.”
– Representative Matt Gaetz (R- Shalimar), Chairman of House Finance and Tax Committee
Rep. Matt Gaetz recently joined the Florida Chamber of Commerce to discuss House tax priorities and to share key highlights of the ‘No Tax is Safe’ plan. This $690 million tax cut plan, championed by Rep. Matt Gaetz and the Florida House focuses on making Florida more competitive by targeting three main area of tax cuts: communications services, commercial leases and R&D.
“The priorities that we reflected in the house’s no tax is safe tax cut plan are many of the priorities we heard from businesses that spoke through the Florida Chamber of Commerce,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz. “The crown jewel of our tax plan is a $470 million cut to the cellphone and TV and cable tax. That’s going to mean about $40 a year in tax relief for an average Floridian, about $160 a year for an average Florida family. But we remember that Florida businesses pay for cellphones and for television, so each and every month we hope that’s money that can go right back into the businesses of our great state.”
This 3.6 percent reduction will help Florida, a state that now charges one of the highest communications services taxes in the country, remain competitive. Another area of cut is the sales tax on commercial leases. Currently, Florida is the only state that charges these taxes, often creating instances of double taxation and ultimately, hurting Florida’s recruitment initiatives and competitiveness.
Through the year, the Florida Chamber has proposed reductions to this tax- now a priority in the House tax cut plan.
“I recall before I was the Chairman of the Finance and Tax Committee, the Florida Chamber held a business event in my district, and I got to hear a great briefing from one of your tax analysts about how the business rent tax puts Florida at a disadvantage competitively when we’re out there competing against Alabama, and Georgia and Louisiana,” explained Rep. Matt Gaetz. “I think that we ought to one day eliminate the business rent tax completely. This is a tax that generates about $1.2 billion a year in revenue for the state so it’s an elephant that we have to eat one bite at a time. This year, we are going to cut the business rent tax by over $50 million, but my hope is to be in the legislature when we ultimately see that tax repealed. I think next year we can do even more to keep slicing away at the businesses rent tax.”
In order to keep recruiting high wage jobs and continue to remain competitive, both nationally and globally, Florida has the unique opportunity to bolster our states R&D tax credit program- which last year saw record interest, but ran out within hours of many businesses being able to apply.
“The Florida Chamber was the leading voice to cut the research tax and you shined light on the circumstance we have in Florida that I was unaware of,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz. “When businesses come to our state to develop lifesaving research and then commercialize that research in our state, we tax that through the form of corporate income taxes. Now over the next three years, terminally the state will reduce that tax by $9 million a year. But the Florida Chamber made this great case that people won’t come and apply for that reduction in the research tax if it’s such a small amount and if it’s a ‘first-come, first-serve’ system. We wanted to get to a fair and equitable system where everyone could participate in the research tax cut. So thanks to the work of the Florida Chamber, we are going to cut the research tax in the state of Florida an additional $42 million over the next three years. So over the next three years, there will be somewhere just south of $70 million in research tax cuts. Now our job is to go out and find people doing the most innovative research in the world and bring them to Florida where we have a tax structure that could compete against anyone.”
And for small businesses, relief will come in the form of a tax break idea by Rep. Jay Fant on Small Business Saturday- the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
On that day, the state of Florida will “take a day off of taxing small businesses.” According to Rep. Matt Gaetz, “Florida small businesses will not have to charge a sales and use tax. That inures to the benefit not only of the business but of the customers that choose to go and patronize those businesses.”
The Florida Chamber thanks Rep. Matt Gaetz and the Florida House for their leadership on targeted tax cuts.