|BILL KACZOR, Associated Press|
The House approved another installment of the popular back-to-school sales tax holiday as well as a package of business tax credits and reductions designed to stimulate Florida's economy.
The sales tax exemption on school supplies, clothing, shoes and related items costing under
The business tax cuts and incentives are expected to cost
"This is what we came here to do," said Rep.
Democrats, though, were still smarting from an anti-union amendment Republicans added Tuesday. It goes to a provision requested by Gov.
The House actually adopted that provision multiple times. Almost every time a Democrat proposed an amendment, House Majority Leader
The rejected Democratic amendments included proposals that would have allowed corporations to benefit from the higher exemption only if they provided health insurance for employees' same-sex partners and coverage for contraceptives; used a federal database to determine if new hires were illegal immigrants and proved they did not discriminate against veterans in hiring.
The Republicans, though, did permit one Democratic amendment to pass. It bars corporations that do business with terrorist states from getting the exemption.
Democrats argued the anti-union provision is unconstitutional and predicted it would not be accepted by the
"It disturbs us that you think just because it comes from the back row that it's no good," said Rep.
"I was singularly unimpressed with the Democrats' attempts yesterday to take a perfectly good bill that deals with getting tax relief to small businesses and trying to inject issues of contraception and gay marriage and a bunch of social issues," Cannon said.
Some opponents also contended the bill does nothing to help the middle class, but Lopez-Cantera disputed that claim.
"This is not about the big guys, the big corporations, the fat cats," he said. "This is about jobs."
The bill includes increased tax credits for business investments in low-income communities and in industrial machinery and equipment. The increased corporate exemption would reduce the number of businesses that pay the 5.5 percent tax from 15,000 to about 11,000. Last year,
"By allowing more than 3,500 businesses to stop paying income taxes and instead put that money into jobs, and maximizing incentives to make
The Republican governor had pushed for a phase-out of the tax, which brings in about
Less than 1 percent of
The House voted 80-36 for another tax bill (HB 87) designed to provide an incentive for oil companies to tap into old fields in the
A proposed state constitutional amendment (HJR 93) passed unanimously. It would provide an additional homeowner property tax exemption for the surviving spouses of service members who die while on active duty and for police, correctional officers, firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians who die in the line of duty.
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