CCIM Florida Chapter Legislative Analysis (related article: “2016 Florida Legislature Adjourns”)
So, the legislative session has ended, and, once again we won some and we lost some.
What everyone wants to know is “what the heck happened to the reduction in sales tax on commercial leases.” Well, let me tell you what I understand.
Like any bill, budget issues take a long time to change; and, this was certainly no exception. When Florida Realtors decided to make this a priority, and, it certainly did — we were in the worse economic time and all attempts to address this matter fell on deaf ears. Certainly, it was not ignored because of a lack of understanding, but, rather because anything that even remotely suggested a reduction in taxes was not going.
The Florida Realtors has continued to make this issue a priority, and, there are very few, if any, legislators or business people who are not intimately familiar with the magnitude of this issue. FR used its best efforts to promote awareness among legislators, the business community, the media and those standing at the bus stop; starting with rebranding the message from abolishing the sales tax on commercial leases, to phasing it out over time, to “reducing the business rent tax.” FR established coalitions with the business community and educated all who would listen…and, even those who would have preferred not to.
The Governor was behind this issue, as was the House, where bi-partisan support led the way. However, the Senate did not provide the support necessary to pass the reduction, preferring to keep those dollars set aside for pet projects. The fact that the Governor and the House included this issue in their tax package is evidence of the belief that this is in the best interest of the Florida business climate.
FR is committed to keep up the momentum and has its work cut out as they begin to educate new legislators. Senator Simpson, who will be Senate President in 2020 and is a supporter will, no doubt, begin working on gaining support immediately.
Although you no doubt received the legislative summary from Carrie O’Rourke, FR Public Policy Vice President, who led the charge for us this year and did a remarkable job of furthering our cause, I attach it again.
Put on your seat belts and to be ready to respond to those Calls to Action that all too many of our members ignore, and, to be ready to assist in pushing this cause to the finish line when asked to do so.
All the best,
Claudette Bruck, CCIM Florida Chapter Legislative Chair
Claudette Bruck, CCIM, CIPS, GRI, REALTOR
Multiple Choice Realty Investments, Inc.
6610 N. University Drive, Suite 200, Tamarac, Florida 33321
Office Phone: (954) 722-0020