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STATEMENT: Florida TaxWatch Praises the Move to Add a Reduction in the Business Rent Tax to House Bill 15

President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro Calls it a “Grand Slam” for Taxpayers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The following statement is to be attributed to Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro in response to State Rep. Josie Tomkow's (R-Polk City) amendment to House Bill 15 (Sales and Use Taxes), which passed in the House Commerce Committee earlier today, Mon., March 29, 2021. 

“Florida TaxWatch commends State Rep. Josie Tomkow for her amendment to House Bill 15, which will allocate the additional sales tax revenue generated through the legislation to reduce the Business Rent Tax (BRT) from 5.5 percent to 2.0 percent after it first restores the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund to pre-pandemic levels. For years, Florida TaxWatch has recommended the use of this revenue to reduce the BRT, and we are thrilled that it is finally being considered. 

Plus, House Bill 15 is a grand slam for taxpayers now. It levels the playing field for Florida retailers and removes the burden from consumers to remit the tax on remote sales. It also avoids a steep unemployment compensation tax hike when small businesses can least afford it, switches from the bracket system to the more taxpayer-friendly rounding system for calculating sales tax due, and significantly reduces the BRT, a tax that is unique to Florida and establishes a competitive disadvantage for all Florida business that lease commercial property – all changes that have long been recommended by Florida TaxWatch.

“In addition to Rep. Tomkow, Florida TaxWatch also thanks House Bill 15's sponsor State Rep. Chuck Clemons (R-Newberry), the bill’s numerous co-sponsors, and members of the House Commerce Committee for passing the amendment today. A great bill keeps getting better.” 

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