TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that he is proposing $1 billion in tax cuts to grow the manufacturing industry and Florida’s small businesses to further diversify the economy and guard Florida against another economic downturn. Here’s what Florida business leaders are saying:

Andrew Barbar, Florida Realtors President, said, “Florida’s Realtors applaud Gov. Scott for taking action to keep Florida competitive and business-friendly by including a 1 percent reduction in the state’s business rent tax in his proposed budget.  Adding sales tax to rent can be the difference in whether a small business is able to grow and expand – or if they even can stay in business at times. Studies show that reducing and eventually eliminating the sales tax on business rents means more jobs and economic opportunities for Florida residents and business owners.”

Walter Carpenter, Owner of Pinel and Carpenter in Orlando, said, “Governor Scott’s $1 billion tax cut proposal will not only help Florida families, but will also help businesses big and small. By eliminating the business tax on manufacturing and retail businesses, permanently eliminating the tax on manufacturing machinery, and cutting the tax on commercial leases, Governor Scott is creating many opportunities for diverse job growth in our state.”

Dan Doyle, Florida Retail Federation Chair and Chief Human Resources Officer for Beall’s, Inc., said, “As retail business leaders in this state, we support Governor Scott’s proposed tax cut package, specifically the reduction of the business rent tax. We expect to reinvest any savings that we’d enjoy from these tax savings into increased wages, benefits and additional jobs. We look forward to doing our part to support the Governor’s proposed tax cut package when it is considered in the upcoming legislative session.”

Dr. Mark T. Esper, Vice President Government Relations, Raytheon Company, said, “Governor Scott’s efforts to provide tax relief for businesses will surely be good for Raytheon and our employees in Florida by promoting economic growth and investment in the state.”

David Hale, President and CEO of Tampa Tank, said, “Governor Scott is focused on diversifying our economy so that businesses like ours can keep growing. We support the $1 billion in tax cuts, including the elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment, and look forward to many more years of success in Tampa.”

David Hart, Florida Chamber Executive Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Political Operation, said, “Governor Scott’s $1 billion tax cut proposal opens new doors for all businesses throughout Florida, especially small businesses, which help create two out of every three jobs in Florida. At the Florida Chamber, our goal is to diversify Florida’s economy, and by cutting taxes for families and job creators, more companies will look to move to or expand in Florida.”

Jason Hendren, Founder and President of Industrial Lighting Products, said, “The Governor’s $1 billion in tax cuts for businesses like Industrial Lighting truly shows his commitment to strengthening Florida’s business environment. These savings will allow us to invest in our workforce and we applaud his leadership in paving the way for us to diversify our economy in Florida so more businesses have the opportunity to grow.”

Bill Herrle, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said, “Governor Scott’s tax cut proposal is great news for all of Florida’s business owners. Small businesses throughout the state will benefit the most from cutting recurring taxes on businesses, and when you cut taxes on businesses, you’re helping keep Florida’s economy healthy and vibrant. The potential savings for small businesses in Governor Scott’s $1 billion tax cut proposal is significant, and will go a long way toward growing jobs and continuing to diversify our economy.”

Bill Martin, Florida Realtors CEO, said, “Florida is the only state in the nation that charges this additional tax on business rents, which puts the state and the business community at a competitive disadvantage.  We support Gov. Scott’s comprehensive efforts to improve Florida’s economy by focusing on what creates jobs in our local communities. Key to that approach is the reduction of the business rent tax, and Realtors across Florida remain ready to work with the Governor to successfully advocate for his plan during the 2016 Legislature.”

Rick McAllister, President and CEO Florida Retail Federation, said, “Governor Scott’s tax cut package is important to the continued growth and success of Florida, and we thank him for continuing to focus on helping Florida businesses grow and putting money back in the pockets of Florida families.  Cuts for hurricane preparedness and back-to-school shopping, plus the business rent tax and corporate income tax will all have a significant positive impact for both business owners and consumers.”

Bruce Phillips, Vice President of Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware, said, “We want to thank Governor Scott for his $1 billion tax cut proposal which looks to eliminate burdens to economic growth by Florida businesses, including a reduction of the business rent tax. We encourage the legislature to support his proposal and bring continued economic relief to retailers and businesses of all shapes and sizes.”

Jerry Pierce, owner of Restaurant Equipment World in Orlando, said, “The Governor’s proposal to cut taxes by $1 billion is exactly what Florida’s business owners need. Taxes do not need to be raised – but that is essentially what will happen if we do not permanently end the tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment. In small business, it’s important to be competitive. That’s why tax cuts like those included in Governor Scott’s proposal are important for all Floridians – we need to focus on being competitive with other states to bring more businesses to our great state and to diversify our economy.”

Alan Sayler, owner of Sayler’s Suncoast Water in Pinellas Park, said, “Any decrease in the commercial lease tax will be a huge relief for businesses like our own. Cutting the cost of doing business is a sure way to help support companies across Florida. We applaud Governor Scott for his work to diversify our economy and make Florida first for job growth.”

Brian Taylor, Haynes Corporation’s Controller and Director of Human Resources, said, “Being a Florida business has allowed Haynes Corporation to experience exciting growth and provide great jobs for local families. Governor Scott’s $1 billion tax cut plan, including the permanent elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment, will allow our company to continue supporting economic growth in the Naples community.”

Bill Thompson, Owner of Thompson Pump and Manufacturing in Port Orange, said, “Permanently ending the tax on manufacturing machinery and cutting taxes by $1 billion will benefit companies like ours who want to expand their business to better serve our customers. Our goal is to diversify Florida’s economy and allow manufactures the ability to grow in Florida.”

Frank Walker, Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Governmental Affairs, said, “Governor Scott is putting tax payers and job creators on the road to success with his $1 billion tax cut proposal. At the Florida Chamber, we are committed to securing Florida’s future and we applaud Governor Scott’s continued efforts to increase Florida’s competitiveness and make Florida number one in job creation.”

Mark Wilson, Florida Chamber President and CEO, said, “Governor Scott understands that in order for Florida’s manufacturing industry to continue to grow and create jobs, we must lower the cost of doing business and diversify our economy. His $1 billion tax cut proposal including the elimination of the corporate income tax on manufacturers will give Florida a competitive advantage in attracting and maintaining successful manufacturing businesses.”

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