TALLAHASSEE, Fla–Today, the Florida Senate Committee on Appropriations chaired by Senator Tom Lee (R-Brandon) passed House Bill 33-A, Taxation. Part of the “Work Plan 2015” joint agenda announced by Senate President Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island), the Senate’s broad-based tax cut package provides $400 million in tax relief through sales tax exemptions and reductions to include lowering the communication services tax (CST) on Floridians’ phones and television services permanently, establishing a 10-day Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday, and removing the sales tax on college textbooks for one year.
“Florida’s CST is one of the highest in the nation. Reducing this tax rate will directly result in monthly savings for every Floridian with a cell phone or cable or satellite television,” said President Gardiner. “Throughout the regular session, Senator Hukill and her committee worked hard to vet hundreds of millions of dollars in meaningful tax relief proposals. Building on the good work of our Senators while incorporating the ideas of our House colleagues, this tax cut package sponsored by Senator Hukill and Senator Benacquisto offers meaningful, broad-based tax relief for families and businesses across our state.”
“Families incur a significant expense while preparing to send children back to school or off to college. The Senate’s tax cut package will lessen this burden on Floridians throughout our state as they purchase college textbooks and meal plans for the school year as well as clothing and other items purchased during a 10-day Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday this summer,” said Chair Lee.
“Last year, we passed the Florida GI Bill to make Florida the ‘Welcome Home State’ for active duty military servicemen and women and their families. This legislation makes sure we do not welcome home America’s heroes with a hefty tax bill for a vehicle purchased while serving our country overseas,” said President Pro Tempore Garrett Richter (R-Naples).
As amended by the Senate Committee on Appropriations, HB 33-A provides $400 million in tax relief including reductions in the CST, a 10-day Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, removal of the sales tax on motor vehicles purchased by military personnel while deployed overseas, on college textbooks for a year, prepaid college meal plans, and school concessions. In addition, House Bill 33-A extends the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program to issue tax credits for projects that provide housing opportunities for persons with special needs.