Tax Cut Package Includes Break for Hurricane Supplies
A $105 million tax cut package passed by the legislature on the last day of session includes a break from sales taxes for consumers purchasing hurricane preparedness supplies as the 2014 hurricane season approaches. Consumers buying hurricane supplies between May 31 and June 8 will be able to do so free from sales tax, assuming the measure becomes law as expected.
The tax cut package fulfills Governor Scott’s goal of achieving a $500 million reduction in fees and taxes this session. The legislature previously passed a $400 million rollback in auto registration fees. The registration fee rollback is notable for insurers because a similar proposal in 2013 was linked to a repeal of the salary tax credit against the insurance premium tax. The insurance industry pointed to the clearly measurable jobs benefit associated with the salary tax credit, and ultimately the registration fee rollback did not pass last year. This year, the rollback was not linked to the salary tax credit, which remains intact. The registration fee rollback also is interesting in its implications for the Governor’s race. Lawmakers increased the fee during the Crist administration as the economic slowdown reduced state revenues, and the fee decrease comes during the Scott era as the Governor and former Governor are expected to square off this fall.
In addition to hurricane preparedness supplies, the legislature passed sales tax holidays for school supplies (August) and energy-saving appliances (September). The sales tax holidays together make up $36.9 million of the $105 million in tax and fee reductions.
A pleased Governor Scott said, “This is an extraordinary year. Let’s think about what we accomplished. $500 million back in Florida families’ pockets.”