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.

Florida Chamber’s Targeted Tax Reforms Include Communications Service Tax Cut

As Florida lawmakers prepare for the June 1-20 special legislative session to pass a balanced budget, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is encouraging legislators to also lower the cost of living and the cost of doing business through targeted tax reforms.

“Special session has a lot on the table, including the creation of a state budget and the chance for meaningful healthcare reform,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “The Florida Chamber is optimistic that the Florida Legislature can work through these items and still pass targeted tax reforms that will put money back in the pockets of Floridians and make Florida even more competitive.”

Driving a fair and equitable tax system is key to attracting and retaining businesses in Florida. Limiting burdensome taxes by enacting smart and targeted tax reforms helps place money back into the pockets of Florida’s families.

For a more competitive Florida, the Florida Chamber supports the following targeted tax reforms:

  • Communications Service Tax (CST) cut,
  • Reducing sales taxes on commercial leases,
  • Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday,
  • Small Business Saturday Tax Holiday,
  • Research and Development tax cuts,
  • Defense contracting tax credit.

    “The Florida legislature has the important responsibility of crafting the state budget during the special session, but also has a great opportunity to reduce taxes for Florida’s families and businesses,” said Dennis Grady, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. “This opportunity can not only put additional money in the pockets of hard working families, but could mean the difference in job creation and business expansion. Our Florida economy is at its best when the legislature returns tax payer dollars to those who could use it the most.”

Florida Chamber members and partners look forward to working with lawmakers during the special session to help ensure targeted tax reforms can further help attract and retain jobs.

Take Action Now

How will targeted tax reforms help your business grow? Share your story by emailing me at cjohnson@flchamber.com.

Florida Chamber of Commerce Unveils 2015 Competitiveness Agenda

CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261


Jobs, Growth and Opportunity Are Top
Priorities for Florida’s Business Community

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (January 30, 2014) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today unveiled its 2015 Competitiveness Agenda and announced it will focus its resources and expertise to advance a jobs, growth and opportunity agenda. The Florida Chamber’s 2015 Competitiveness Agenda is Florida’s business agenda to build on securing Florida’s future through private-sector job creation, economic growth and greater opportunities for all Floridians.


Chief among the Florida Chamber’s 2015 Competitiveness Agenda are:


Looking at Florida’s economic horizon, it’s clear Florida is making positive strides. More than 725,000 private-sector jobs have been created since Governor Rick Scott was first elected, nearly 3,000 regulations have been eliminated or improved, taxes have been cut and Florida is now the third most populous state in the nation. Looking forward, Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Jerry Parrish projects that Florida will add approximately 250,000 new private-sector jobs in 2015 and grow by approximately 280,000 new residents.

However, while Florida is moving in the right direction, now is not the time to become complacent.

“The Florida Chamber encourages our state’s leaders to rally around a common bipartisan cause – and that cause is stronger and sustainable economic growth in order to expand opportunities for all Floridians,” 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, regulatory and litigation climate that is welcoming to job growth, ensure that we have a talented workforce to fill those jobs and ensure that Florida’s water and transportation resources are sustainable to meet the long-term needs of our growing population.”

Based on input from the Florida Chamber members, local chambers of commerce, partner associations, research, and unfinished business from 2014, the Florida Chamber’s 2015 Competitiveness Agenda is a blueprint of legislative priorities that move Florida toward an innovation-based economy and put long-term economic policy decisions ahead of short-term political fixes.

Lowering the Cost of Living on Florida Families

To lower the cost of living and the cost of doing business, the Florida Chamber recommends:

  • Reducing cell phone taxes (communication services tax),
  • Reducing taxes on commercial leases,
  • Preventing “hurricane taxes” through property insurance reforms,
  • Eliminating the $1.4 billion “hidden healthcare tax” on insured Floridians,
  • Reducing the $3,400 per family “lawsuit abuse tax,”
  • Further reducing the corporate income tax, and
  • E-Fairness.


Vigorously Pursuing Additional Regulatory Reform

With nearly 3,000 state level regulations eliminated by Governor Scott and the legislature, Florida’s regulatory climate is improving. However, burdensome local and federal regulations continue to impede job creation. To further improve Florida’s business climate, the Florida Chamber recommends:

  • Aligning local regulations to more closely mirror Florida’s regulatory framework – especially in the area of multi-jurisdictional permitting processes and workplace regulations, and
  • Continue pushing back on burdensome federal regulations that kill jobs and stifle innovation.


Securing Florida’s Water Future

To secure Florida’s water future, the Florida Chamber recommends:

  • Identifying and investing in cost-effective water projects,
  • Identifying and developing sustainable water resources,
  • Promoting private investments in surface water storage and water quality improvement,
  • Promoting regional water supply solutions, and
  • Prioritizing the use of science-based regulatory programs.


Championing Education Reform for
a Globally Competitive Workforce

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:

  • Championing school choice,
  • Supporting global standards for college and career readiness,
  •  Leveraging innovation via digital and virtual education,
  • Supporting global standards for college and career readiness, and
  • Empowering teachers through professional development and benefit options.

A complete listing of the Florida Chamber’s 2015 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.




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.