State legislative leaders to decrease the number of corporations paying taxes

Could cost the state about $30 million dollars

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida passed the corporate income tax in 1971 after then-Governor Reubin Askew bought a work shirt in Georgia, with a six percent tax, and paid the exact same thing for an identical shirt in Florida, which had no corporate tax at all.

"It didn't make sense for us to not have it," Askew said.

From the beginning day of the legislative session, Governor Rick Scott has insisted on tax cuts for corporations.

Scott proposed cutting the rate from 5.5 to 3 percent. Lawmakers have steadfastly said the state couldn't afford any tax cut.

Until now.

For weeks, Rick Scott has said he was unwilling to compromise when it came to tax cuts and lawmakers finally took him at his word.

Lawmakers have agreed to raise the number of small companies not paying the tax. That will cost the state about $30 million dollars. Scott is claiming victory.

"First of, it will immediately impact almost half of the businesses in the state," Scott said. "On top of that, it sends the message to businesses in all these other states that we're clearly open for business."

But unions, who will be paying more for their pensions, say it's wrong for working Floridians to finance the tax cuts.

"So it is literally taking money from teachers and firefighters and giving it to the corporations that have already done superbly well," Rich Templin, with the Florida AFL-CIO, said.

And when asked if the deal included a promise not to line-item veto some pet legislative projects, Scott responded, "I don't think that's in my best interests."

Scott's original proposal would have cost the state over 400 million the first year. He calls the 30 million dollar cut a good first step.

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