Communications tax changes to House floor

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Changes to the way the state taxes cable television, cell phones and other communication service cleared its last House committee hurdle Wednesday despite the concerns of local government representatives who said the fiscal impact of the changes remains unclear, reports the News Service of Florida. By unanimous vote, House State Affairs Committee approved HB 809, which makes a number of changes to the Communication Services Tax to reflect changes in the delivery of communication services. Legislative economists could not estimate what how much the bill could reduce local government revenue. Amber Hughes, legislative advocate for the Florida League of Cities, said local governments rely on the communication tax for about $500 million a year and have no idea how much collections will fall. “We’d like to have a little higher level of comfort when it comes to fiscal impact,” Hughes said. The bill now travels to the House floor. The Senate companion, SB 1060, has two more scheduled committee stops.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.