Politics · May 21, 2021 0

Florida Governor DeSantis Signs Tax Cut Package

PENSACOLA, FL (STL.News) Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law House Bill 7061, Florida’s Tax Cut Package, to ensure our state remains one of the most tax-friendly environments in the nation.
“In Florida, we are providing more than $168 million in taxpayer savings for families and businesses,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.  “I’m proud that we have legislative leaders like Senate President Wilton Simpson, Speaker Chris Sprowls, Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez, and Representative Bobby Payne who understand that we empower Floridians through tax cuts – not increases. From sales tax holidays to permanent tax exemptions helping seniors live independently, I am committed to continuing to reduce the tax burden for all residents of our state.”
“I was honored to join Governor DeSantis this morning in Pensacola to highlight the hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday, just in time for hurricane season,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis.  “With NOAA recently predicting an above-normal season, it is important now more than ever that Floridians take advantage of this tax holiday to ensure they are prepared.  A huge thank you to Governor DeSantis and the Legislature for making it easier for Florida families to purchase critical hurricane supplies to ensure our communities are safe this hurricane season.  I encourage all Floridians to take advantage of this great sales tax holiday to make sure your family, home, and your property is protected.”
“I am grateful to our Governor for signing this important tax relief package into law.  This last year has been quite a challenge for Florida families as they make decisions about how best to educate their children during the pandemic.  This legislation provides tax relief for families purchasing supplies for the new school year, which will be great help for those returning to in-person learning, and also provides savings for computers and other supplies that would be helpful for remote learning,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson.  “We also further incentivize affordable housing opportunities by expanding the property tax exemption for property owners who have a long-standing commitment to maintaining their units as affordable housing properties.”
“Freedom goes with Florida like sunshine and beaches,” said Speaker Chris Sprowls. “Governor DeSantis has done an amazing job in the most difficult of circumstances not only protecting our economy and citizens — but our liberty.  What better way to celebrate than creating a new tax holiday aimed at incentivizing Floridians to take advantage of our free and open state?  Floridians deserve a summer of BBQs, fishing, boating, concerts and camping.  We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy all our state has to offer.  I applaud Governor DeSantis for his leadership, and thank President Simpson, and Chairman Payne for their work in getting this tax package delivered.”
“We have all been so focused on the pandemic, that it can be easy to forget that hurricane season is right around the corner.  This bill incentivizes advanced planning with tax breaks on key supplies families and businesses need for disaster preparedness.  As Florida families prepare for a full return to pre-pandemic life, the bill provides tax relief for a variety of outdoor events and activities individuals and families can enjoy this summer and fall,” said Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez.  “Additionally, we know Florida is a retirement dream for so many around the country, and we know our seniors have a much better quality of life when they can stay in their own homes, or with family as long as possible.  This legislation offers a tax break on items Floridians can use to make their homes safer for older Floridians as well as other family members who may face mobility challenges, promoting the independent lifestyle we all value.”
“It has been a pleasure to work on this fair and equitable piece of legislation to ensure businesses and citizens of our great state are able to receive some tax relief this fiscal year,” said Representative Bobby Payne.  “We have a 10-day back-to-school holiday and a 10-day disaster preparedness holiday.  Additionally, we added a new 7-day sales tax holiday known as Florida Freedom Week that will run from July 1st through July 7th.  With everything that has happened in the past year, we wanted to ensure that as our state opens our citizens have the opportunity to enjoy all Florida has to offer.  The holiday will include admissions to live music events, sporting events, festivals, fitness facilities, and state parks as well as certain boating, fishing, camping, and general outdoor supplies.  Outside of sales tax holidays we were able to provide certain exemptions that will benefit businesses, schools, the elderly and hardworking Florida families.  I am thrilled with the outcome of the 2021 Tax Package, HB 7061!”
HB 7061 provides more than $168 million in taxpayer savings to families and businesses in the upcoming fiscal year, including more than $34 million in recurring tax cuts. Included in the tax package are several components:

Sales Tax Holidays

“Disaster Preparedness” Tax Holiday from May 28 until June 6, 2021
This 10-day tax holiday allows Floridians to prepare for hurricane season while saving money on disaster preparedness items such as flashlights under $40, batteries less than $50, tarps under $100, generators less than $1,000, and more.

“Freedom Week” Tax Holiday from July 1 until July 7, 2021

The first ever “Freedom Week” provides 7 days of sales tax savings on outdoor recreation purchases, such as the first $100 of the sales price of sunglasses, the first $200 of the sales prices of tents, and the first $500 of the sales price of kayaks or canoes, as well as tickets for events, museums, the arts, and more.

Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday from July 31 until August 9, 2021

Spanning 10 days, Floridians will pay no sales tax for certain clothing of $60 or less per item, school supplies of $15 or less per item, and the first $1,000 of personal computers and related accessories.

Tax Cuts to Support Florida’s Seniors Living Independently

HB 7061 creates Florida’s first permanent sales tax exemption for independent living items for seniors in our state.  Items like bed transfer handles, bed rails, grab bars, and shower seats will be exempt from sales tax for individual purchases.

Ad Valorem Tax Breaks

To support housing options for all Floridians, the tax package doubles the ad valorem tax exemption for certain affordable housing properties from 50% to 100%.  Additionally, the bill includes implementation language for a proposed constitutional amendment providing property tax relief for residential property improvements made for the purpose of flood mitigation.  This property tax relief is subject to the approval by the voters on the 2022 General Election ballot.

Tax Credits for Florida Businesses

  • Strong Families Tax Credit Program

To help support the wellbeing of children in our state, HB 7061 creates the Strong Families Tax Credit Program for businesses that make monetary donations to certain eligible charitable organizations that provide services focused on child welfare.

  • Internship Tax Credit

The newly created Internship Tax Credit provides tax relief for Florida businesses that employ and retain student interns, encouraging companies to hire young Floridians attending college in our state.

  • Brownfields Tax Credit Program

The bill also provides a one-time increase in funding of $17.5 million for the Brownfields Tax Credit Program to fund a backlog of approved credits.  This program, administered through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, incentivizes businesses to clean up and redevelop hazardous sites to protect our environment and economy.
The full text of House Bill 7061 is available here.

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