Senate Bill 176 has been filed by Sen. Dorothy L. Hukill (R-Port Orange). If passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott, the Bill would reduce the sales tax on commercial leases. A similar bill (HB 11) was filed by Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) in the House in August.
Both Bills promote a reduction in the current 6 percent commercial lease sales tax. The issue of eliminating or lowering the commercial lease sales tax has been a top priority of Florida Realtors. Florida Realtors President Dean Asher said that lowering the sales tax will help Florida rebound from the recent recession. The Senate Bill’s 1 percent reduction would be effective January 1, 2015.
A study conducted by Fishkind & Associates concluded that a repeal of the commercial lease tax would create 184,500 new jobs annually. Additionally, the amount of state revenue that would be lost if the tax went away would create five times as much in economic benefits for Florida. Hukill wants to encourage business growth and expansion in Florida and believes a tax cut will help small-business owners who are disproportionally affected. Steube believes a tax cut will also help larger companies that will be able to hire more employees and grow their businesses.