From the Herald-Tribune’s Lloyd Dunkelberger, 10/16/2015:
This week, Scott said that he not only wants lawmakers to make a sales tax exemption on manufacturing equipment purchases permanent but he also wants to exempt the industry from the state’s 5.5 percent corporate income tax.
The manufacturing equipment tax break alone represents some $144 million a year. The corporate tax exemption will add significantly to that and will mean a large share of the $700 million-plus tax-cutting plan that Scott will advance will be aimed at the manufacturing industry.
In a letter to Florida manufacturers earlier this month, urging them to begin lobbying lawmakers on behalf of his plan, Scott laid out the challenge that he and prior governors have faced in trying to shift the economic focus of the state.
By no means would anyone complain about the jobs it might create, but what cost would be added to the state’s taxpayers if such a measure went through? The people of Florida should consider increased use of the state’s roadways, the environmental burden these industries are sure to bring to the state, and the end to which the lobbying will come. One has to wonder if the prospective taxes nullified by an exemption should be the same used to mitigate the problems these industries have already faced in other places.