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Florida senators introduce bill to let Canadian snowbirds stay longer

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Posted at 11:51 AM, Sep 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-19 11:54:59-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Florida's senators are introducing legislation that they say will give Florida's tourism an extra boost.

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott announced Thursday that they have introduced the Canadian Snowbirds Act.

The legislation would allow some Canadian citizens to spend up to eight months a year vacationing in the United States, two months longer than they are allowed to stay now.

If passed into law, the bill would allow Canadian citizens over the age of 50 who either own or rent a residence in the U.S. to remain in the country for up to 240 days each year. The bill expressly prohibits such visitors from working for American employers or seeking public assistance while in the U.S.

Under current laws, Canadian citizens who stay in the United States for more than six months in a given year are considered U.S. residents for tax purposes, and are required to pay U.S. federal income taxes on any and all income they earn that year – regardless of what country it’s earned in.

According to the Canadian Embassy , Canadians who visit Florida contribute more than $6.5 billion each year to the state’s economy.

“Last year, Florida welcomed a record 126 million visitors, including 3.5 million visitors from Canada," says Senator Scott. "When we welcome visitors to our state, our communities thrive, businesses grow, and job opportunities are created for Florida families.

“This bill will be a huge boost to our state’s economy," says Senator Rubio.

According to VISIT Florida, approximately 3.5 million Canadians visited Florida in 2018.