TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Dec. 17, 2015) – A new video highlighting Florida’s burdensome and costly business rent tax was released today as part of a statewide campaign to encourage lawmakers to eliminate– over six years –this Florida-only tax starting with one percent during the 2016 Legislative Session.
Coalescing around a common goal of making Florida’s business climate more competitive, small businesses, job creators and business groups, known as the Business Rent Tax Coalition, are collectively advocating for a one percent business rent tax cut.
For Florida to be more competitive and inviting to business, we must cut the business rent tax,” said Carrie O’Rourke, Florida Realtors® vice president of public policy. “Adding sales tax to rent can mean the difference in whether a small business is able to grow and expand – or even if they can stay in business at times. We urge lawmakers to take action this year to cut the business rent tax by one percent, which will provide broad-based tax relief for businesses across Florida, increase job opportunities and encourage economic growth.”
Florida is currently the only state in the nation that charges a business rent tax. That means in Florida, businesses pay a six percent tax on the space they lease, including added costs to that lease, such as property taxes, maintenance and the cost of insurance.
Florida’s business rent tax costs Florida businesses $1.7 billion every single year. A one percent reduction this year, as advocated by the Business Rent Tax Coalition, would keep $287 million in the hands of Florida’s job creators, allowing employers to hire additional employees, increase employee benefits and reinvest back into their businesses.
“Florida is working to be more competitive at all levels, including reducing the cost of doing business for our companies,” said Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. “We appreciate the efforts of Governor Scott and the Florida Chamber to eliminate the burdensome business rent tax and increase our ability to attract businesses to Florida.”
The Florida Ports Council joined the below organizations in the Business Rent Tax Coalition, which currently includes 31 statewide, regional, and local organizations:
- Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida
- Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Florida
- Florida Chamber of Commerce
- Florida Realtors
- Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
- International Council of Shopping Centers
- Manufacturers Association of Florida
- NAIOP of Florida
- Bay County Chamber of Commerce
- Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce
- Citrus County Chamber of Commerce
- Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Destin Area Chamber of Commerce
- Flagler County Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
- JAX Chamber
- Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce
- Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce
- Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Manatee Chamber of Commerce
- North Port Area Chamber of Commerce
- Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
- Ocala-Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership
- Orlando, Inc.
- Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce
- Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce
- Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce
- West Orange Chamber of Commerce