Governor Rick Scott proposes legislation to eliminate sales tax on manufacturing equipment
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Manufacturing companies in Florida are looking forward to legislation proposed by the Governor that, if passed, could boost the industry and add more jobs in Florida.
"We're in the metals business, we handle scrap metal that's really the thrust of our business," said Charles Berman, Owner of Berman Brothers, Inc.
Without the machines Berman Brothers, Inc. uses on a daily basis, the company would not be able to sort, shape, store and ship metal the way they need to - to operate.
"Every year I'm buying something, cranes, forklifts, overhead cranes, trucks, trailers, bulldozers," added Berman.
And every year Charles Berman says he spends thousands of dollars on sales taxes for the equipment he needs for his manufacturing company. But, a new proposal by Governor Rick Scott could put those thousands of dollars back in Berman's company.
"In order to build up Florida manufacturing jobs we must get rid of any and all barriers on manufacturing investment in our state," said Governor Rick Scott in a press conference.
Scott announced Wednesday at Jacksonville's Vistakon-Johnson and Johnson Vision Care plant that he is pushing new legislation to eliminate the sales tax on equipment for Florida manufacturers.
"If you think about if you want to raise the standard of living of the people that live in your state, you've either got to do more manufacturing, you've got to do more shipping, you've got to do more tourism, but you've got to do things where you're doing business with people outside your state. Manufacturing is a key to the future of this state," said Scott.
The new legislation would allow manufacturing companies like Johnson and Johnson vision care to purchase more equipment that would increase product quality and quantity.
"If we're able to have tax relief on new equipment as a growing business we do expect to add lines and add equipment and this would help us in other areas to invest in the business and keep growing," said Dave Brown, President of Vistakon Americas.
If the proposal passes, it could also make the state a more desirable location for manufacturers looking to set up shop - which would create more jobs.
"We're adding another opportunity to attract somebody to come in because we're reducing those taxes that they would be subject to, that they wouldn't be in say Georgia or Alabama," said Florida Representative Lake Ray, District 12, and President of First Coast Manufacturers Association.
If the proposals passes, manufacturers could see the elimination of the sales tax as early as July first. The Governor says the tax gap would be covered by the state's budget surplus of over one billion dollars.
Governor Scott also aims to put 12 million dollars into Quick Response Training programs this year in order to make sure manufacturing companies can train workers and fill more jobs.
First Coast News