Weatherford Defends House Manufacturing Tax Vote As Questions Persist

May 2, 2013

House Speaker Will Weatherford is defending the House vote on a manufacturing tax exemption. The measure passed the chamber on a 68-48 vote, but Democrats say that House vote may have violated Florida’s Constitution.

At issue is whether the manufacturing tax exemption needed two-thirds support of the House to pass. Democrats seem to think it did, and had the numbers to block it. They and four Republicans sided against the tax exemption. But House Speaker Will Weatherford says he’s confident the vote will stand.

“We looked into that very closely we spoke with our attorneys and our staff. We do not believe it requires a two-thirds vote. If you need technical data and reasons behind that we can get it to you, but it does not require a two-third vote," Weatherford told reporters following the end of the house session.

The question of how many votes were needed to pass the tax break centers around the impact it will have on local governments, which could lose money. Minority Leader Perry Thurston says there will be a legal challenging coming. The manufacturing tax cut is one of Governor Rick Scott’s top priorities.