President Office — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2017
Legislation to Cut Commercial Lease Sales Tax Passes First Senate Committee
SB 378 eliminates narrow corporate subsidy, instead providing dollar-for-dollar recurring tax relief for Florida businesses
The Senate Committee on Finance and Tax, chaired by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) today passed Senate Bill 378 by Senate President Pro Tempore Anitere Flores (R-Miami, Monroe). The legislation repeals the insurance premium tax credit and replaces it with a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the sales tax on commercial leases.
“When originally put in place thirty years ago, this narrow corporate subsidy for insurance companies was well intentioned, but times have changed and we need to reprioritize,” said Senate President Joe Negron (R-Stuart). “By replacing this outdated subsidy that benefits only one industry with revenue-neutral, meaningful, and permanent tax relief, we are continuing our commitment to reducing the tax burden facing Florida businesses.”
“Cutting this business tax will help the small, local businesses in our communities who lease property,” continued President Negron. “Florida is the only state in the country to tax businesses in this way. Reducing this burdensome tax promotes the private sector job creation we need to maintain a strong economy. I am hopeful that it will become a component of our comprehensive tax relief package for this session.”
Since 1987, Florida has provided a tax credit that insurance companies can take against their premium tax liability of up to 15 percent of salaries paid to employees located or based within Florida. The same benefit is not provided for other industries.
Senate Bill 378 is intended to be revenue neutral and provide a permanent reduction to the sales tax charged on commercial leases. The legislation revises distributions to ensure that local governments are not impacted by the rate changes in the bill.