2017 Session - Week 3
The third week of the 2017 Session saw action on tax related bill really heat up. Although neither chamber has formulated its final tax cut package yet, a number of tax bills cleared committees this week. These include two bills that propose a reduction in the business rent tax (which Florida TaxWatch strongly supports) and a bill that would repeal a long-standing insurance premium tax credit that promotes creation of insurance jobs in Florida (which Florida TaxWatch strongly opposes.)
In addition, the Senate advanced a proposed constitutional amendment that would create another $25,000 homestead exemption for property taxes. The House is expected to follow suit. Bills to implement two constitutional amendments passed in November also moved forward. These bills provide property tax exemptions on renewal energy devices and for disabled first responders.
Committees in both chambers passed bills that originally prohibited new local business taxes and limited existing ones, but the Senate bill was amended to remove the prohibition and restriction and only provide for an exemption for veterans, military spouses and low-income persons.
The House continued to pass appropriation project bills. More than 200 of these bills were approved in committee this week, bringing the total to 516. This makes the local member projects in the bills eligible for inclusion in the House budget. No bill failed and in fact, there were no “no” votes. Senators have also filed 627 local funding requests totaling $1.9 billion. Senate requests do not require a committee vote to be included in the Senate budget.
A number of other bills advancing Florida TaxWatch recommendations passed committees, including ones dealing with class size requirements, transportation funding and corrections reform.
For more information on these and other bills, please see below. And stayed tuned for weekly updates all through the session.