President Office — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2017
Senate President Pro Tempore Files Legislation to Cut Cell Phone and TV Tax
Senate Bill 378 eliminates narrow corporate subsidy, instead providing dollar-for-dollar tax relief for Florida’s families and businesses
Senate President Pro Tempore Anitere Flores (R-Miami, Monroe) today filed Senate Bill 378, which repeals the insurance premium tax credit and replaces it with a two percent reduction in the communications services tax (CST).
“Florida’s CST is one of the highest in the nation. In 2015, we made great progress by permanently reducing Florida’s CST by 1.73 percent. This year, we can reduce this burdensome tax even further and provide additional monthly savings to every Floridian with a cell phone or cable or satellite TV,” said President Pro Tempore Flores.
Since 1987, Florida has provided a tax credit that insurance companies can take against their premium tax liability of up to 15 percent of salaries paid to employees located or based within Florida. The same benefit is not provided for other industries.
“When originally put in place thirty years ago, this taxpayer-funded subsidy for insurance companies was well intentioned, but times have changed and we need to reprioritize,” said Senate President Joe Negron (R-Stuart). “We can take the revenue we save from eliminating a tax credit that only benefits one industry and use it to provide a meaningful, monthly, and permanent tax cut for Florida’s families and businesses.”
“This bill will rid our state of an antiquated government subsidy for a specific industry, and instead keep more money in the pockets of the hard-working Floridians who earn it,” continued President Pro Tempore Flores. “This tax relief package continues our commitment to reducing the tax burden facing Florida families and businesses. Reducing taxes leads to private sector job creation and a flourishing economy that benefits all Floridians.”
“As Florida’s economy grows, we must continue to search for ways to reduce the tax burden on families and businesses across our state,” continued President Negron. “In recent years, we have lowered vehicle registration fees, providing a recurring tax cut for every Floridian who registers a car. This year we want to continue our efforts by providing additional tax relief for every Floridian with a cell phone or cable or satellite television. As just one component of a comprehensive tax relief package, this proposal alone could provide $300 million in recurring tax relief for families and businesses in addition to the significant savings generated by proposals advocated by Governor Scott and options filed in the Senate and the House.”