State Rep. Larry Ahern filed a bill Wednesday that would eliminate the state sales tax that Florida business owners pay on their commercial leases.
The legislation would provide a sales tax exemption on the total rent paid for the right to use or occupy commercial real property.
“Florida is the only state that imposes a standard, statewide sales tax on commercial real estate leases” the Seminole Republican said. “This bill will have a positive and direct effect on the bottom line for small businesses first and larger businesses in the coming years.”
A few highlights of the bill:
— The exemption for the first year will be for businesses that pay up to $10,000 per year in state sales tax; businesses that pay up to$20,000 would be eligible for the exemption in the second year; and businesses that pay up to $40,000 would be eligible in the third year.
— It would cover all leases and contractual agreements with rent and license fees regardless of terms and length of agreement.
— The exemption would increase by $10,000 each year for the ensuing six years until the total exemption is $90,000 and the remainder repealed completely in the 10th year.
More than 300,000 businesses owners who rent space will benefit the first year and more than 1 billion in all will benefit, Ahern said.
“This will give our state another competitive advantage in attracting new businesses, and provide some much-needed tax relief for the job creators currently affected by this additional overhead,” Ahern said.