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President Office — Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 1, 2017

CONTACT: Katie Betta, (850) 487-5229


Senate Appropriations Committee Passes Broad-Based Tax Relief Package

Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday, Sales Tax Exemption for Feminine Hygiene Products, Lower Business Rent Tax

Tallahassee —

The Florida Senate Committee on Appropriations, chaired by Senator Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) today passed House Bill (HB) 7109, Taxation. The legislation will deliver broad-based tax relief to families and businesses across Florida.

 

“I am pleased to see a tax package advance to the Senate floor that incorporates several ideas promoted by the Senate throughout the 2017 Legislative Session,” said Senate President Joe Negron (R-Stuart). “This tax relief package continues our commitment to reducing the tax burden facing Florida families and businesses in a broad-based and meaningful way.”

 

“From tax savings for parents and students preparing for the new school year, to permanent savings for women’s health products, the Senate is advancing legislation that will keep more money in the pockets of the hardworking Florida families who earn it,” said Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland), Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance and Tax. Chair Stargel sponsored an amendment to HB 7109 to incorporate various components of the 2017 Tax Relief Package.

 

Establishes the 2017 Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday

The legislation creates a three-day “back-to-school” sales tax holiday for clothing and footwear costing $60 or less, school supplies costing less than $15, and for the first $750 of the cost of a personal computer.

 

Creates a Sales Tax Exemption for Feminine Hygiene Products

The bill creates a permanent sales tax exemption for essential hygienic products for women. Currently, Florida law imposes a sales tax on luxury items such as cosmetics and toiletries, while providing tax exemptions for medical products used to prevent or treat illness. HB 7109 makes it clear that feminine hygiene products are not luxury items in the same category as toiletries, but rather a necessity for women’s overall health, hygiene, and well-being. Several state including: Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and the District of Columbia currently exempt these items.

 

Legislation to exempt the sales tax on feminine hygiene products was originally filed as Senate Bill 176 by Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples), which passed the Committee on Appropriations earlier this session. 

 

“This common sense legislation will result in a tax savings for women all over the state who purchase these necessary products,” said Senator Passidomo. “Through this bill, Florida stands to join a number of states that currently exempt these items.”

 

Reduces Business Rent Tax

House Bill 7109 permanently lowers the sales tax charged on commercial leases. The state currently levies a six percent tax on the total rent or license fee charged for renting any real property. Residences are exempt from this tax, and Florida is currently the only state in the country to impose this type of tax on businesses. The bill permanently lowers the rate from 6 percent to 5.8 percent.

 

Earlier this session, the Senate Committee on Finance and Tax passed Senate Bill 378 by Senate President Pro Tempore Anitere Flores (R-Miami, Monroe) to lower the business rent tax.

 

“Cutting this business tax will help the small, local businesses in your community who lease property,” said President Pro Tempore Flores. “This legislation is a great step towards reducing and hopefully one day eliminating this burdensome tax on business.”