Putnam Proposes Electrical Tax Cut For Businesses, New School Funding

Jan 8, 2014

Putnam talks with reporters on Jan. 8, 2014.
Credit Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

Businesses could see their electricity taxes cut in half under a proposal Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam is pushing. The commissioner’s plan would also dedicate the remaining tax revenue to education.

Gov. Rick Scott has proposed cutting vehicle registration fees as part of his election year plan to save voters $500 million in taxes. On Wednesday, Putnam offered his alternative: Slash businesses’ electricity levy by 50 percent and spend the rest of the electricity taxes on schools.

“Playgrounds are dotted with portables. We see how early in the day kids are eating lunch so that they can get the number of kids through the cafeteria. If we want to be a preeminent higher education system, if we want to be a globally competitive workforce, then we’ve got to have a funding mechanism that is sustainable, bondable, long-term," he said.

Putnam says the proposal has the support of state universities, colleges and school boards. But any tax cuts will be decided in the Legislature.