News

Governor proposes 1% reduction in business rent tax

2015-11-06

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Nov. 5, 2015 – In a teleconference with Realtors from around the state, Gov. Rick Scott yesterday announced that his proposed budget includes a cut in the business rent tax. This has been a goal of Florida Realtors for several years.

Florida is the only state in the nation that charges this additional tax on commercial leases and common area maintenance services, such as landscaping and cleaning.

Gov. Scott is proposing to reduce the business rent tax by 1 percent in 2017 through the use of both recurring and non-recurring funds. This will save Florida businesses $339 million over the next two fiscal years.

"Florida's Realtors applaud Gov. Scott for taking action to keep Florida competitive and business-friendly," says 2015 Florida Realtors President Andrew Barbar, a broker with Keller Williams Realty Services in Boca Raton. "Adding sales tax to rent can be the difference in whether a small business is able to grow and expand – or if they even can stay in business. Studies show that reducing and eventually eliminating the sales tax on business rents means more jobs and economic opportunities for Florida residents and business owners."

A lower business rent tax is part of the governor's $1 billion tax-cut package aimed mostly at businesses. He also proposes eliminating income tax on manufacturing and retail businesses; eliminating the tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment; extending the sales tax exemption on college textbooks; and two sales tax holidays: one for back-to-school supplies and one for hurricane preparedness goods.

"The tax cuts will create a more positive climate for business owners, both large and small," says Mike Shelton, a commercial Realtor with Crosby and Associates in Lake Mary, Fla., and 2016 Chairman of Florida Realtors Commercial Alliance Council. "The governor is looking to bring more manufacturing companies to the state, which in turn would produce a lot of jobs. These new employees will need housing, retail goods and so forth. We all benefit."

© 2015 Florida Realtors®

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

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