Gov. Talks Tax Cuts Ahead Of State Of The State

Jan 11, 2016

Governor Rick Scott.
Credit Nick Evans

Florida Governor Rick Scott made his billion dollar tax cut pitch before a senate tax panel Monday.   Lawmakers also took up a handful of other tax proposals in the Finance and Tax Committee.

Governor Rick Scott made a personal appearance in the Senate Finance and Tax Committee to push his tax cut plan.  The billion dollar bucket list would eliminate the manufacturing equipment sales tax, reduce fees on commercial leases and repeal corporate income tax for manufacturers and retailers. 

Scott says his list of reductions is aimed at diversifying the state’s economy, and he makes a comparison to Texas.

“In the 60s, 70s in Texas when oil prices were high Texas did really well,” Scott says.  “When oil prices were low, Texas did very badly.  We have the same risk here because we’re so dependent on tourism and construction.”

“If we have a significant national recession,” Scott says, “we’re going to get hurt.”

Scott’s proposal will be broken up and moved through the chambers piecemeal—the manufacturing sales tax repeal actually passed a different Senate panel while Scott was waiting to speak.  

In addition to Scott’s presentation, senators took up a sales tax holiday for emergency preparedness ahead of hurricane season and a property tax exemption for solar panels.  They also approved a property tax measure for the spouses of disabled veterans.  The state already gives discounts to combat disabled vets over the age of 65.  But when those vets die, Sen. Thad Altman (R-Rockledge) says their spouses lose that benefit.

“What do they get when they lose their loved one—who’s given themself for service of this country—what do they get?  They get a big tax bill.  That’s just not right,” Altman says.

The change requires amending the state constitution, so if sixty percent of the lawmakers in both chambers agree to the proposal, Florida voters will decide on the matter this November.