The House unveiled its 2018 tax cut package (HB 7087) almost a month ago, while the Senate’s did not appear until week 8 of the session when it was amended onto SB 620 in the Appropriations Committee.
The full House has approved its bill, but the Senate has not yet taken up its package. The bills have a lot of similarities, but there are big differences that will have to be negotiated before a final tax cut package is approved.
The House bill is much larger, containing $140.3 million in one- time tax reductions and $249.1 million in recurring cuts. This includes $33.7 million in one-time local revenue reductions and $11.9 million in recurring local cuts. The Senate bill contains $88.0 million in one-time tax reductions and $60.4 million in recurring cuts. This includes $25.7 million in one-time local revenue reductions and $6.5 million in recurring local cuts. The House Ways & Means Chair said on the floor that, due to new priorities (spending for school safety), the final tax package will likely be smaller than the current House package.
Most of the changes are relatively small, and include sales, property, corporate income, documentary stamp, and fuel taxes. The House cuts includes $149.2 million that are not traditional tax cuts, but are tax credits for contributions to state scholarship programs.
Both bills include the Florida TaxWatch priorities of reducing the Business Rent Tax, and the creating of Back to School and Disaster Preparedness sales tax holidays. For more information see our BRT report and our 2017 follow up. Also, see why Florida TaxWatch supports sales tax holidays.
The following is a description of the various tax reduction provisions, showing what is included in both bills, what tax reductions are in both bills with some differences and what is only in the House or Senate bill.