News

Florida Realtors issues biz rent tax Call to Action

2015-10-06

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Oct. 6, 2015 – Florida Realtors® issued a legislative Call to Action yesterday.

The issue at hand: Business rent taxes. The Call to Action asks Realtors in Florida to take a few minutes to contact Gov. Rick Scott as he creates his state budget proposal for the next fiscal year.

"Gov. Scott is putting together his recommended budget during the months of October and November," writes Andrew Barbar, Florida Realtors president. "This budget will be released on or near Dec. 1, 2015. We are asking all Florida Realtors members to please contact Gov. Scott and ask him to support the reduction of the Business Rent Tax by including a rate reduction of 1% in his budget."

Currently, Florida is the only state that has a business rent tax, which is a 6 percent levy paid by commercial businesses that lease their property. When competing with other states to attract commercial businesses, the tax represents an additional burden that makes Florida less competitive. Even existing Florida businesses in growth mode see the rent tax as an additional burden when they weigh their options.

The rent tax also has a trickle-down effect that impacts residential home sales. Floridians with jobs tend to buy homes; those without a job do not.

Members participating in the Call to Action are not asking Gov. Scott to cancel the entire rent tax, however. At 6 percent, the tax costs Florida businesses $1.7 billion per year, but Florida Realtors is seeking a 1 percent reduction in 2016 – a statewide savings of about $286.9 million annually.

Takes two minutes

A Call to Action is a selectively used tool that helps lawmakers understand the need for a legislative change – a request for onerous laws to be deleted or adjusted, or for beneficial bills to become law.

To participate, visit the Call to Action center.

The system asks members to fill in only eight fields, such as name and address. It then automatically routes the message to the governor.

Questions? Call Florida Realtors Office of Public Policy and Florida Realtors PAC at (850) 224-1400.

© 2015 Florida Realtors®

Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved.

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