Coalition rolls out ads to fight Fla. rent tax


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Jan. 19, 2016 – The Cut My Rent 1 Percent coalition announced an ad campaign encouraging the Florida Legislature to support cutting the Business Rent Tax. Florida Realtors is a coalition member, and a rent-tax reduction is one of the association's top 2016 priorities.

"Florida is the only state that charges a sales tax on business rent, which places a financial burden on businesses … and puts Florida at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to attracting new industry," says Matey H. Veissi, Florida Realtors president. A 1 percent reduction in the tax this year would "generate more jobs and more economic opportunities for the state's residents and business owners."

"Many businesses, notably Florida's small and mid-sized firms, rent their office space," explains Carrie O'Rourke, Florida Realtors vice president of public policy. "As the only state with a rent tax (currently 6 percent), a $10,000 monthly rent would cost a Florida company an additional $750 per month – $9,000 per year. If they're weighing the pros and cons of starting a business in either Florida or Georgia, it puts us at a competitive disadvantage."

O'Rourke says the business rent tax was called a lease tax in previous years, but lease tax isn't accurate. "Businesses pay this tax with each rent payment," she says. "It's not a one-time fee at the time of signing or buried somewhere – it's an ongoing expense paid each and every month. 'Rent tax' is the only way to describe it."

The Florida Legislature is currently considering changes to the rent tax, starting with a 1 percent reduction from the current 6 percent.

The coalition's ads will air on Florida broadcast networks, cable TV and the Internet starting next week. The ads will encourage business owners to contact their legislators and ask them to "support Florida's job creators by supporting a 1 percent cut in the Business Rent Tax."

The Cut My Rent 1 Percent Coalition includes:

  • Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida Associated Industries of Florida
  • Boca Chamber of Commerce
  • Florida Realtors
  • Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
  • Florida Retail Federation
  • Florida United Businesses Association Manufacturers Association of Florida
  • National Federation of Independent Business/Florida

The ad is currently viewable on YouTube.

"Cutting taxes on small business owners encourages growth, expansion and job creation," says Bill Herrle, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business/Florida. "It's time to start getting needless taxes like the Business Rent Tax off the books and help the business owners across the state who create jobs and give back to the economy."

© 2016 Florida Realtors®

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

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