Legislative UpdateFebruary 20th, 2016 by gainesvillechamber
The House and Senate have both passed their versions of the next state budget, with the Senate budget totaling $80.97 billion, $1 billion more than the House.
After the two chambers’ leaders agree on dollar allocations for the various parts of the budget, budget conference committee meetings will begin to negotiate the differences. Conference meetings could start as soon as early next week.
Tax Cut Packages
The Tax Cut package approved by the House—HB 7099—proposes reducing taxes by “$1 billion” and includes almost 40—mostly small—provisions, including permanent sales tax exemption for manufacturing machinery and equipment, reducing the commercial leases tax and increasing the Research and Development Tax Credit.
For more information on the provisions in this House Tax Cut Package, see this Florida Taxwatch Analysis.
HB 1325 are omnibus economic development bills that would make numerous changes to various state economic incentive and tax refund programs, including the entertainment incentive program, the Quick Action Closing Fund and the qualified targeted industry tax refund program. Among the changes contained in the Senate bill are the renaming of the Quick Action Closing Fund to the Florid Enterprise Fund. his fund is a priority of the Governor, who recommended funding of $250 million. The Senate has tentatively agreed to that amount. HB 1325 also creates the Innovation Florida Initiative to encourage high-technology startup and second-stage business growth.
Upcoming budget conference negotiations may include a revamp of the state’s economic development programs. Both chambers have omnibus bills and this week the House amended HB 1325 which, while more aligned with the Senate plan, still has significant differences from the Senate’s. This, week Florida TaxWatch released a report on the state’s economic incentives that may provide additional perspective on the debate. To view the report, click here.