Gov. Scott signs manufacturing tax break into lawby Dara Kam | May 17th, 2013
A manufacturing tax break, one of Gov. Rick Scott’s two priorities this legislative session, is now law.
Scott signed the measure (HB 7007) on Friday and touted it during a stop at a Tampa manufacturing firm.
Under the new law, manufacturers won’t have to pay sales tax on equipment purchases for three years, beginning in April 2014. Scott had wanted to make the tax break permanent, but lawmakers gave him a three-year window instead.
The new law also creates a new nonprofit corporation to oversee money awarded to the state from lawsuits connected to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The manufacturing tax break was caught up in some late-night maneuvers during the final week of session. Two days before the session ended, Scott had to act on a campaign finance bill and an ethics measure that were priorities of House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, and Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville.
Scott announced he signed the bills about half an hour after the House gave final passage to his manufacturing tax break.
But House Democrats believe the tax break, tucked into a 96-page economic incentive package, is not official because the bill did not receive a two-third majority vote.
The state constitution requires a two-thirds approval for tax-related items that cause counties or cities to lose revenue or reduce a tax in which the local governments share.
Weatherford insists that the tax break did not require the supermajority vote.
_ The Associated Press contributed to this report.