Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a tax relief bill on Wednesday, insisting it will help Florida’s strong economy continue and offer relief for Floridians hurt by Hurricane Michael back in October.
DeSantis signed the bill at the Governor’s Hurricane Conference in West Palm Beach.
“I’m pleased to be signing HB 7123 today, which includes temporary tax relief to help the people of Northwest Florida,” said DeSantis. “My administration remains focused on making sure Northwest Florida recovers from Hurricane Michael, while also preparing for the upcoming Hurricane Season. Statewide, we remain committed to ensuring that communities impacted by recent hurricanes are able to make a full recovery.”
“This session, lawmakers approved almost $400 million in comprehensive tax relief that will help Florida’s families and communities breathe easier,” said Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez. “Not only will residents of our state enjoy a back-to-school sales tax holiday, the bill also incentivizes hurricane preparedness with a similar tax break on materials that are critical for storm readiness. I am pleased to know Floridians will benefit from this crucial tax relief.”
Most of the tax cuts come from reducing property taxes.
“The FY 2020 budget reduces the school property tax millage rate by 0.148 mills for an overall annual tax savings of $272.3 million,” the governor’s office noted.
The bill also included $47.2 million in sales tax holidays, including a five day back-to-school sales tax holiday and a week long sales tax holiday for hurricane supplies. The bill also reduced the commercial lease tax from 5.7 percent to $5.5 percent for around $64.5 million in tax relief. As DeSantis noted, the bill offered $1.3 million in “relief from certain sales, fuel, and property taxes for areas affected by Hurricane Michael,” $800,000 in “sales tax refunds on fences and building materials, and fuel tax refunds for agricultural shipments and debris cleanup” and $500,000 “from property tax relief from tangible personal property not as high for at least 60 days due to the effects of Hurricane Michael in affected counties.” The bill also offered “various other reductions including a sales tax exemption on the purchase of goods later donated to non-profit organizations and a doubling of the discount on civil penalties offered to individuals choosing to attend traffic school, saving Floridian’s a total of $8.5 million.”