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Scott Signs Tax Cut Package Rolling Back Car Registration Fees and Offering 2 Tax Holidays

| May 12, 2014

His eyes on re-election, Gov. Rick Scott made tax cuts a centerpiece of his budget this year. (© FlaglerLive)

His eyes on re-election, Gov. Rick Scott made tax cuts a centerpiece of his budget this year. (© FlaglerLive)

Gov. Rick Scott signed a wide-ranging tax cut package Monday that fulfills an election-year pledge and could boost sales for businesses through a series of tax-free periods during the typically slower summer months.

The signing of the package (HB 5601) lets Scott campaign that he got lawmakers to make $500 million in tax and fee cuts, even if the total won’t reach that figure in the upcoming budget year, while providing shoppers with sales-tax holidays on hurricane gear, school supplies and energy saving appliances.

“The bill we signed today is $121 million right back in to Florida citizens’ hands,” Scott said during a news conference after he addressed the Governor’s Hurricane Conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Lawmakers already sent a larger part of the tax and fee cuts to Scott, rolling back vehicle registration fees that were increased in 2009. Scott signed that bill (SB 156) on April 2, giving motorists on average savings of $20 to $25 per vehicle.

The vehicle fee reduction is expected to collectively save motorists about $309 million during the upcoming 2014-15 budget year, with the new lowered rates going into effect Sept. 1. Those savings are expected to grow to about $395 million a year, once they are in effect for the full 12 months of a fiscal year.

Lawmakers approved the other tax-cut package May 2 and said it would save Floridians about $105 million. But Scott put the number Monday at $121 million, and his office also repeated that number in a news release.

The tax cut law, dubbed the “patchwork of awesomeness” by House Finance & Tax Chairman Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, goes into effect immediately. The three sales-tax holidays are projected to save $36.9 million for Floridians, according to the Legislature’s estimates.

“Retailers like the tax holidays because they boost store traffic considerably during the tax-free periods,” said John Fleming, a spokesman for the Florida Retail Federation.

The package has a wide swath of targets, including reducing electricity taxes for businesses and helping bail bondsmen, Habitat for Humanity, construction contractors, parents buying car seats and bicycle helmets for their children, college students buying meal plans and pet owners.

Scott focused Monday on hurricane preparations, with an emphasis on the recent heavy flooding in the western Panhandle. The hurricane sales-tax holiday runs from May 31 through June 8.

During that time, no state or local sales taxes will be collected on items such as tarpaulins selling for under $50, first-aid kits worth $30 or less, self-powered radios at $50 or less, gas tanks at under $25, portable generators worth up to $750, and non-electric food storage coolers priced at $30 or less, and most battery packages under $30.

Hurricane season begins June 1.

The back-to-school holiday, meanwhile, will run from Aug. 1 through Aug. 3 and will allow Floridians to buy clothes, school supplies and personal computers without paying sales taxes. The back-to-school holiday expands a discount introduced last year on computers and raises the tax-free bar from $75 to $100 on the prices of clothing, bags and backpacks.

Last year, sales taxes weren’t collected on personal computers and related gear worth under $750. This year, no sales taxes will be collected on the first $750 of any computer and related gear, regardless of the overall cost of the piece of electronics.

After the back-to-school holiday, shoppers from Sept. 19 through Sept. 21 will be able to avoid sales taxes on the first $1,500 of the price of new Energy Star and WaterSense products, an energy conservation proposal from Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

The tax package also includes such things as a permanent elimination of the taxes on college meal plans. Also, pet lovers can receive a tax discount on therapeutic pet food only available from licensed veterinarians. Among other things in the package are permanent sales-tax exemptions for car seats and bicycle helmets for kids; an expansion of the New Markets Tax Credit program for investments in low-income communities; a temporary lifting of sales taxes on the purchase of cement mixers; a measure that would reduce by 20 percent the insurance premium tax on Florida-based bail bond premiums; and a projected $14.7 million savings through a community contribution tax credit that benefits Habitat for Humanity.

–Jim Turner, News Service of Florida

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17 Responses for “Scott Signs Tax Cut Package Rolling Back Car Registration Fees and Offering 2 Tax Holidays”

  1. Sorry Charlie says:

    Hey Charlie Crispy….You going to be given away anything this year ?

  2. PCer says:

    Big deal, he still takes money from big corps, drove jobs away, doesn’t care if we sit on I-4 for hours, took healthcare away from thousands, cost thousands of jobs in the healthcare industry……

  3. downinthelab says:

    Hate him if you want to, but he’s saving everyone money!

    • Sally says:

      He’s trying to get reelected! Why do you think he’s giving away a whole bunch of cash in every direction!

  4. downinthelab says:

    Bald and creepy or tan and creepy. Your pick.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Gov. Scott! Nice to government reducing fees.
    And yes, I recognize this is an election year but Barry oblamer NEVER reduced any taxes or his insane spending even in election years.

  6. Nancy N. says:

    Last time he bought the election through spending millions of his own money on his campaign. This time he realizes apparently that he’s going to have to try to buy the voters more directly if he’s going to have a prayer.

    Sorry, but putting a few dollars in my pocket won’t make me forget your unapologetically leaving thousands of people to die without the Medicaid expansion, Rick, and it won’t make me forget your continual shredding of the constitution. What it will do is remind me of how you worship the almighty dollar above all else – to the point you assume everyone else does too – and make me even happier that I’m taking my vote elsewhere.

  7. m&m says:

    He’s a good gov. He has my vote. Any body but slime ball Crist.

  8. Well now. says:

    Good for you Ricky Boy… Families pay enough for college already, the least that can be done is take the taxes off the food. The kids have to eat, and taking taxes off things such as mandatory car seats and bike helmets; well it’s about time on that too. Wow, putting children first… Did you just have a new child enter your family somewhere??? Nothing like this in politics ever just “happens” hmmmm….

  9. Yeah only he`s been double dipping for 6 months now, they raised the price of our drivers license , I know I had mine stolen out of car I got it in Aug last year threw the mail for like 16 bucks , in Sept it doubled now it cost 31 dollars for your license plus I have to buy my birth certificate from home town for 25 to get it , is ridiculous lived and worked in this state 25 yrs just paid them for a license threw 2019 instead of just charging the normal 8 dollar fee to get a new one gonna cost me close to 60 bucks and the hike in registration overlapped price hike in license for 6 months so they`ve been double dipping into our wallets and haven`t really given us anything back because while they lowered registration fees they`ve double license fees, this state our I should say this lying piece of trash were voting out of office this year , because if we don`t Jeb Bush will be our next President ,so keep that in mind when you vote for Gov , do you want another Bush in office destroying our economy again by going to war with Iran and possibly Syria too , republicans love their wars, they all own stock in the companies that make our weapons , its why they refuse to cut the military budget they are still making planes and tanks that are rusting out in two 100 acre compounds in the NM dessert just so their stocks stay up.

  10. confidential says:

    Elections are coming!! He is not buying my vote!

  11. A.S.F. says:

    The man is shamelessly pandering for votes by playing to the lowest human dominator–Greed and self-interest. Well, at least that’s something he’s an expert at!

  12. Debbie says:

    Go Charlie Go!

  13. corey gollon says:

    Oh ricky, you’re such a good boy. Signed, your mother!
    PS, as usual I’m available to stand up for you as a character witness in your reelection ads. Thankfully, florida is overflowing with half wit republican rubes that love you. Maybe this time you won’t have to spend 70 million out of your own pocket to get elected. I know you did that out of the kindness of your heart. Medicare loves you too. Your former company paid one and a half billion to settle Medicare fraud. The largest penalty in the history of health care. Luckily, you pulled a George Bush Sr move and declared yourself “out of the loop, or perhaps braindead.” Resignation is often a beautiful and profitable thing. Lastly rick, thank you for turning down all that federal healthcare money that went to other states. The poor and working poor with no healthcare applaud you for allowing them to die in maximum misery. Also, thanks for all those sub $10.00 per hour jobs with no benefits that is your legacy. Lets get to work and keep working. There’s plenty of toilets that could use a good scrubbing. PSSSSS…. I could go on forever, I love the way you handle scandals within your administration, if you smell, resign instantly. I smell good, you don’t. Good by! You’re a turd rick

  14. confidential says:

    While remembering Ricky’s rejection of Medicaid extension in Florida, today I received this alert to copy all in need and without health insurance:

    Looks like still our fellow men, women and children in financial distress, can still get Medicaid and the CHIP Program from the Feds. Apply!

  15. Diana L says:

    After pleading the 5th 76 times over your Medicare fraud and still being elected, you think this will help you get re- elected, some might buy it, but not me. Want him out as Gov, we better get our voters out.

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