Florida May Rein in Its Tax Breaks, Much To Ostrich Farmers' Chagrin
Back in 1992, the state of Florida was looking to attract ostrich farmers. So the legislature passed a tax exemption on ostrich feed. Turns out, though, ...
Back in 1992, the state of Florida was looking to attract ostrich farmers. So the legislature passed a tax exemption on ostrich feed. Turns out, though, the birds are a bit more hostile and awkward than chickens, and ostrich farming proved to be not as popular as expected.
But the tax is still on the books, and Florida Senator Bill Posey has spent the past six years trying to repeal it. Not because he doesn't appreciate a headdress made of ostrich feathers, but because he says it's a measure that would open the door to further investigation of ridiculous tax exemptions.
"It's just emblematic of a problem we want to solve, to get useless, outdated and obscure exemptions off the book" said Posey, a Rockledge Republican.
Especially now that the state is trying to find $9 billion to alleviate some property taxes, the legislature is looking eliminating some tax exemptions.
The Florida Tax Handbook lists 246 exemptions to the sales tax, including skyboxes, tickets to the ballet, the sales of satellites and space vehicles, bottled water and crab bait purchased by commercial fishermen.
Remove all 246 exemptions and the state could bring in $12.3 billion in revenue -- considerably more than the $9 billion or so that could be lost with the commission's proposal to dramatically cut taxes by eliminating the property tax for public schools.
The tax-cut amendment will be put to voters on the Nov. 4 ballot, but it will be up to the Florida Legislature to determine how to make up the lost revenue for schools -- whether through elimination of exemptions, raising the sales tax, cutting the budget, introducing a tax on services or some other means.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
All U.S. Blood Donations Should Be Screened For Zika, FDA Says14 hours ago
Displaced Workers Faring Better, But Many Remain Unemployed15 hours ago
Insurance Concerns: Half of Louisiana's Recently Flooded Homes Not in 'High-Risk' Areas18 hours ago
The Week in Public Finance: Pensions' Funding Gap, An Assault on Fees and More18 hours ago
Sioux Tribe Could Get New Legal Help in Challenge Against Oil Pipeline in North Dakota18 hours ago
New Tennessee Drunk Driving Law Endangers Federal Road Funding19 hours ago