April 15, 2010

In two previous reports, FCFEP noted that the Florida Legislature is considering about $700 million in tax breaks for the coming year.  Included were such items as cutting the corporate income tax, limiting the amount of sales tax charged on the purchase of boats and airplanes, and exempting sales of tickets to all-star sporting events in Florida from the sales tax.

Another bill moving in the Senate (SB 2036) would roll back the motor vehicle and license fees increased by the legislature last year.  Returning those fees to the 2009 level would reduce general tax revenue by $398.5 million — and bring the total of all tax cuts being considered to about $1 billion.

Most of the tax breaks hopefully won't be signed into law, as the legislature weighs the merits of the bills and the implications to the budget.  But the proposals illustrate how lawmakers sometimes use tax preferences, which cost the state treasury money just as direct appropriations do.

As FCFEP said previously, “Establishing more tax breaks instead of reducing their number will increase the need to cut the budget and will not improve the state’s economy or create jobs in the short term, if at all.”  (Read the reports here and here.)


Tags: tax | budget | spending
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