Furthering Smarter and More Competitive Tax Policies

 

Download One Pager    Targeted Tax Reform

 

Why It Matters to Florida

A competitive and equitable tax system creates jobs and strengthens the economy. With 26 million people expected to call Florida home by 2030, Florida will need to create 1.7 million jobs. One key to creating jobs for this growing population will be a competitive and equitable tax system. Yet, Florida is the only state in the nation that taxes businesses on rent – setting up discouraging and discriminatory tax policies.

Florida’s Competitiveness Agenda

In order for Florida’s businesses to grow and remain competitive the Florida Chamber will continue to support:

  • Eliminating Florida’s Business Rent Tax
    Florida is currently the only state in the nation that charges a Business Rent Tax. That means in Florida, businesses pay a six percent tax on the space they lease, including added costs to that lease, such as property taxes, maintenance and the cost of insurance — meaning some businesses are subject to double taxation. This tax costs Florida businesses $1.7 billion every single year.
  • Reducing Corporate Income Tax
    The Florida Chamber will continue to support reducing Florida’s corporate income tax. The Florida Chamber has long championed the increase of the corporate income tax exemption. In 2011, 79 percent of qualifying Florida businesses were fully exempt from paying corporate income tax under the current $50,000 exemption. This helps businesses focus on creating jobs and hiring Floridians.
  • Fixing the Internet Sales Tax
    The Florida Chamber will continue working with the Florida Legislature on the Internet sales tax, to ensure businesses can continue to expand and remain competitive.
  • Research & Development Tax Credit
    The Florida Legislature has increased the Research & Development Tax Credit cap twice in the last four years, recognizing that this program has been historically oversubscribed. In 2018, the cap was $16.5 million and $68 million in credits were requested, with over $200 billion in reported research and development expenditures. Each applicant only received approximately 25 percent of the amount of credit determined in their application for the work performed. We look forward to working with the Legislature to increase the cap to $35 million to allow companies to receive a greater percentage of the Research and Development credits allowable under law.

The Fight for Free Enterprise Continues

The time for targeted tax reform is now. Meaningful and pro-growth tax reform will position Florida for stronger economic growth. Lowering taxes, simplifying America’s tax code and cutting the Florida-only business rent tax will help relieve burdens on Florida’s business, job creators, and families. Instead of short-term solutions, the Florida Chamber believes in creating long-term sustainable outcomes so Florida can continue to attract and grow the top businesses in the nation.

Florida Chamber Supports Targeted Tax Reforms To Make Florida More Competitive

Florida is moving in the right direction – Florida creates one in every 10 jobs in the Unites States, our unemployment remains low and more than 1.2 million private-sector jobs have been created since December 2010. In order to continue growing jobs, lowering the cost of living and the cost of doing business, the Florida Chamber of Commerce supports targeted tax reforms.

Recently, Florida Governor Rick Scott released his “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget, which includes several Florida Chamber-backed efforts, like:

  • Business Rent Tax reduction for commercial leases,
  • Cutting the Corporate Income Tax for 80 percent of Florida’s businesses,
  • Sales tax holidays for back-to-school shopping, disaster preparedness and more, and a special sales tax holiday for veterans,
  • Fee cuts for seniors, veterans and businesses, and more.

Carolyn Johnson, Director of Business, Economic Development and Innovation Policy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, testified today in support of the governor’s proposal in the House Ways & Means Committee, adding that it is the Florida Chamber’s hope that the R&D Tax Credit will also be considered for this year’s tax plan.

“We are thrilled that the Governor has made the business rent tax the centerpiece of his tax proposal this year, and are supportive of the broad-based tax cuts that the Governor has recommended. In addition, we ask that the House consider increasing the cap for the R&D Tax Credit, which has been oversubscribed since its inception and encourages R&D in our state,” said CAROLYN JOHNSON, Florida Chamber Director of Business and Economic Development and Innovation Policy.

Take Action Now

For more information about this issue, or to get involved in the fight to cut taxes, visit our targeted tax reform issue page or contact Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com.

Legislative Agenda Puts Jobs, Growth and Economic Opportunity in the Driver Seat

 

Urges Lawmakers to Put Florida’s Long-Term Competitiveness Ahead of Short-Term Political Fixes

TALLAHASSEE (November 17, 2015) – As the Florida Chamber enters its 100th year of fighting for business, the Florida Chamber of Commerce today unveiled its 2016 Competitiveness Agenda – a comprehensive legislative agenda that focuses resources and expertise to advance jobs, growth and greater economic opportunities for Floridians. Florida’s Competitiveness Agenda builds on 104 pro-jobs bills passed and signed into law in the last five years, and is helping position Florida to be America’s number one private sector job creator.

Although there are more than 30 scored items in the 2016 agenda, here is a sample of what will make Florida more competitive:

  • A tax climate that helps generate job growth (we support a $1 billion cut),
  • A talented workforce to fill those jobs (continued education reform),
  • A diversified economy, and further improving Florida’s business climate (we support the $250 million Florida Enterprise Fund and other improvements to EFI),
  • A quality of life that includes science-based water policy, and
  • Smarter healthcare outcomes through transparency, competition and ending the cost shift.

Looking at Florida’s economic horizon, it’s clear Florida is making positive strides. More than 941,000 private-sector jobs have been created since Governor Rick Scott was first elected, approximately 3,000 regulations have been eliminated or improved, more than one billion in taxes have been cut, and Florida’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in seven years.

Looking forward, Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Jerry Parrish projects that by December, Florida will have created one million net new private-sector jobs since Governor Scott was elected, and he projects that Florida will create 220,000 new jobs in 2016.

“While Florida is moving in the right direction, now is not the time to be complacent,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Florida is in competition for private-sector jobs with other states, and therefore we must ensure a tax and business climate that is welcoming to job growth, ensure that we have a talented workforce to fill those jobs, ensure that Florida’s quality of life provides sustainable water resource solutions and that we lower the cost of healthcare through better outcomes. Now is the time to put Florida’s long-term economic security ahead of short-term political fixes.”

Based on input from Florida Chamber members, local chambers of commerce, partner associations, research, and unfinished business from 2015, the Florida Chamber’s 2016 Competitiveness Agenda is a blueprint of legislative priorities that it will lobby, track and score this Legislative Session.

LOWERING THE COST OF LIVING ON FLORIDA FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES

To lower the cost of living and the cost of doing business, the Florida Chamber recommends approximately one billion dollars in targeted tax cuts as follows:

  • Phasing out the Business Rent Tax (taxes on commercial leases),
  • Continuing to phase out the corporate income tax,
  •  Permanently eliminating the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment, and
  • Supporting sales tax holidays on back-to-school items and hurricane preparedness.

CHAMPIONING A TALENTED WORKFORCE TO FILL JOBS

Talent is the new economic development currency. A quality education is the best way to ensure students can compete in a global economy, and therefore the Florida Chamber recommends:

  • Staying the course on school grades, and issuing school grades this year, and
  • Providing educational opportunities and economic independence for individuals with unique abilities.

DIVERSIFYING FLORIDA’S ECONOMY & IMPROVING FLORIDA’S BUSINESS CLIMATE

To build the perfect business climate, the Florida Chamber recommends:

  • Investing in Florida’s Enterprise Fund,
  • Fixing Florida’s broken legal system by addressing Assignment of Benefits and Fair Settlement lawsuit abuses, and
  • Engaging a workers’ comp legislative solution if the Florida Supreme Court rules against job creators and in favor of trial lawyers in pending court cases.

SECURING FLORIDA’S WATER FUTURE

To secure Florida’s water future, and avoid California’s mistakes, the Florida Chamber recommends science-based water policy that will:

  • Help ensure a clean and abundant water supply,
  • Reduce the prospect of “water wars” among users in resource-limited areas, and
  • Promote strategic partnerships between the public and private sector in achieving water resource development goals.

LOWERING THE COST OF HEALTHCARE

Whether or not the legislature expands Medicaid, the Florida Chamber recommends reducing the cost of healthcare by:

  • Greater transparency – whether pricing outcomes or value of procedures or facilities – provides greater competition and is a win for Florida families,
  • Eliminating healthcare fraud and abuse through innovative practices and technologies,
  • Allowing telemedicine to serve as an alternative healthcare delivery system to increase capacity, deliver high quality of care and control costs, and
  • Increasing the capacity and number of medical professionals by allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to practice to their fullest potential.

 

A complete listing of the Florida Chamber’s 2016 Competitiveness Agenda which outlines more than 30 priorities the Florida Chamber will be lobbying, tracking and scoring this Legislative Session, is outlined in Where We Stand and available at www.FloridaChamber.com.

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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 Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Targeted Tax Reforms Will Make Florida More Competitive

Florida Chamber Tax Cut Recommendations Include Business Rent Tax,
Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment And Corporate Income Tax

TALLAHASSEE (November 5, 2015) – In an ongoing effort to make Florida more competitive, the Florida Chamber of Commerce today announces support of targeted tax reforms that will further strengthen Florida’s economy and families, including reducing the business rent tax, reducing the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment and continuing to support a reduction of the corporate income tax.

“For Florida, this is a competitiveness issue,” said David Hart, Florida Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President. “Creating a fair and equitable tax system is key to growing high-wage, innovative and diverse jobs in Florida. While Florida already has one of the best tax climates in the nation, enacting smart and targeted tax reforms will produce greater economic growth and more opportunities for Florida’s families.”

Governor Rick Scott today released his $1 billion tax cut plan. For a more competitive Florida, the Florida Chamber supports the following targeted tax reforms:

A Reduction in Florida’s Business Rent Tax:

Florida is currently the only state in the nation that charges a Business Rent Tax. That means in Florida, businesses pay a six percent tax on the space they lease, including added costs to that lease, such as property taxes, maintenance and the cost of insurance— meaning some businesses are subject to double taxation. This tax costs Florida businesses $1.7 billion every single year. A one percent reduction this year advocated by the Florida Chamber would keep $287 million in the hands of Florida’s job creators, allowing them to hire additional employees, make improvements and reinvest back into their businesses.

Permanently Eliminating the Sales Tax on Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment:

In 2013, the Florida Chamber, thanks to efforts by Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature, led the charge with the Manufacturers Association of Florida to help create a program that would reduce the Sales Tax on Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment for three years. But Florida’s manufacturers need a more permanent solution. In order to provide Florida manufacturers with predictability and certainty and help continue growing Florida’s manufacturing industry, the Florida Chamber has long supported permanently eliminating the Sales Tax on Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment.

A Reduction of the Corporate Income Tax:

The Florida Chamber will continue to support reducing Florida’s corporate income tax. Since Governor Scott and the Florida Chamber started championing increasing the corporate income tax exemption in 2011, 79 percent of qualifying Florida businesses are fully exempt from paying corporate income tax under the current $50,000 exemption. This helps businesses focus on creating jobs and hiring Floridians.

Sales Tax Holidays:

Sales tax holidays such as Back-to-School and Hurricane Preparedness are a win for Florida’s families and Florida’s small businesses. Florida’s families are encouraged to invest back into their communities as well as effectively prepare themselves and Florida’s small businesses are able to drive traffic to their stores.

The Florida Chamber looks forward to working with Governor Rick Scott to help pass these targeted tax reforms.

 

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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 Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.