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Florida Department of Revenue

Retailers expect record breaking sales during back-to-school tax holiday

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The Florida Retail Federation expects Sunshine State stores to make a bundle during the back-to-school sales tax holiday in August. A survey conducted by FRF’s parent organization, the National Retail Federation, estimates U.S. retailers will pull in a total of $83.6 billion in revenue during the tax-free holidays in Florida and other states.

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Parenting plan bill that skip courts, lifts court overload gets unilateral support in Senate committee

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A bill heard by a Florida Senate committee Monday seeks to streamline the process of setting up a parenting plan for unmarried parents, according to its sponsor. The proposal in the Senate’s Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee – SB 590 – was introduced by its lead author, Sen. Jeff Brandes, with members voting in the end to forward the bill. After that, the bill still must go through several more committees, then heard on the floor of…

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Gambling money still going into GR, DBPR says

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The Seminole Tribe of Florida‘s gambling revenue share payments are continuing to go into the state’s General Revenue Fund, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation said on Wednesday. The department, which oversees gambling, clarified its previous statements this week on how the money is handled. The tribe is seeking to extend a compact with the state to offer exclusively offer blackjack in return for a cut of that revenue, even though a federal judge ruled the state broke the original deal and the tribe can…

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‘Doc stamp’ tax on Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae deals is illegal, suit says

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real estate sales

A proposed class-action suit says Florida has been illegally collecting real estate “doc stamp” taxes on homes bought from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.   Richard A. Castorri filed suit last week in Leon County Circuit civil court against the Department of Revenue (DOR), court dockets show. He bought a house in Leon County from Fannie Mae in 2014, his suit says. A Documentary stamp, or doc stamp, tax is levied on the sale of real estate. The state collected nearly…

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Florida Supreme Court hears debate on TV tax

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Should satellite-television service be taxed at a higher rate than cable? The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides Wednesday. Satellite TV companies, including DirecTV, want the court to uphold the 1st District Court of Appeal’s 2-1 decision last year, which said that taxing the two services differently is unconstitutional. The state’s Revenue Department and Florida’s cable TV industry want it overturned. At issue is the state’s communications services tax (CST), which charges “direct-to-home satellite service” at a total rate of 11.44 percent. Cable…

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Dept. of Health unveiling new leadership team; Alexis Lambert named chief of staff

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Starting in September, Florida’s Department of Health will be under new leadership. Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong announced the promotion of Alexis Lambert to chief of staff, moving Jennifer Tschetter to chief operating officer, and Nathan Dunn will become chief operating officer. All three appointments begin September 11. “Leadership excellence remains a hallmark of Florida’s Department of Health,” Armstrong said in a prepared statement. “I am privileged to work with such a talented leadership group that is dedicated to improving the health of all people in Florida.” Lambert, eldest daughter…

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Red light cameras, with $105M in revenue last year, remain controversial

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Red-light Cameras (RLC) caught violations by nearly one million Floridians last year, creating quite the revenue stream for municipalities across the state, according to a new report Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. As reported by Lloyd Dunkelberger of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, of 941,000 violations issued to motorists, a majority of them (648,000) pay the $158 penalty, which is then split between local governments ($75) and the state ($83). Of those 37,000 who challenged the citations, 12,000 wound…

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