Florida House Tax Package Wins Bipartisan Support

Florida House Tax Package Wins Bipartisan Support

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A key House committee Thursday gave bipartisan support to a wide-ranging tax package that doesn’t include Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to suspend gasoline taxes for five months.

The Ways & Means Committee approved the proposal (PCB WMC 22-01), which includes 14-day sales tax “holidays” in May to help people prepare for the hurricane season and in late July to provide a break on back-to-school items such as clothes, school supplies and personal computers.

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The package also would bring back a “Freedom Week” tax holiday around Independence Day. During that period, shoppers could avoid paying sales taxes on tickets to music events, sporting events, movies, theaters, parks, fairs and museums, purchases of items for camping, fishing and boating and purchases of surfboards, canoes, kayaks and bicycles.

A new tax holiday would go for seven days around Labor Day for purchases of items including work boots, power tools, toolboxes for vehicles and LED flashlights.

Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, called the bill a “very fiscally conservative package.”

Economists have not estimated the overall amount of the tax reductions.

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“There are a few breaks in there for different companies,” Eskamani said. “But I think those are modest compared to what we’re doing for consumers.”

Other supporters included the National Federation of Independent Business-Florida, Florida Power & Light and the Florida AFL-CIO, whose lobbyist Rich Templin called the proposal “reasonable” and balanced, without “significant cuts to recurring revenue.”

Other aspects of the House proposal include a reduction in the sales tax for new mobile homes from 6 percent to 3 percent, an exemption from the sales tax on admissions to Formula One Grand Prix races and relief for homestead property made unlivable for 30 days or more by future catastrophic events.

The House and Senate likely will negotiate a final tax package late in the legislative session. DeSantis has proposed a five-month suspension of the gas tax that would start in July, but the House and Senate have not embraced the idea.

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