With the Florida legislative session set to kick off less than two weeks after Christmas, lobbyists statewide are in their busy season.
One issue that Florida TaxWatch and other pro-business groups, particularly in manufacturing, are watching closely is the potential expiration of a sales tax exemption for machinery and equipment purchases. That exemption is scheduled to expire in 2017.
Florida TaxWatch officials, in a report and statement, say if the tax break expires it “could have a devastating impact on the state economy.” Florida already trails many southern states in manufacturing output, according to TaxWatch, and if the exemption expires, Florida manufacturers will pay higher sales tax rates than nearly every other southern state.
“The manufacturing sales tax exemption is working to boost the state's manufacturing sector,” Florida TaxWatch Chief Economist Steve Petty says in a statement. “Allowing the exemption to expire would put Florida further behind in manufacturing and could hinder our state's efforts to diversify the economy and ensure Floridians have access to high-skill, high-wage jobs.”