From FY 2008 to FY 2014, County revenues and expenditures have declined by more than $5 billion. This decline has been accompanied with reductions in services and investments in critical infrastructure needs. Moving forward, as state and local economies rebound, local communities will have to balance the need for essential resources to provide services and infrastructure with strategies inclusive of tax reductions and the removal of barriers to growth that will aid in fueling a sustained economic recovery.
The Florida Association of Counties SUPPORTS tax reform measures that simplify administration and provide an economic boost to Florida’s taxpayers while at the same time considering and minimizing the collective and cumulative negative impact on local revenues, including state shared and local discretionary revenue sources that are critical to local governments in providing community services. Potential tax proposals that are of major concern to FAC include, but are not limited to:
A. Communications Services Taxes
SUPPORT amending and/or revising current law in a manner that is: 1) revenue neutral; 2) simplifies administration and collection of the current tax; 3) provides for a broad and equitable tax base; 4) provides for enhanced stability and reliability as an important revenue source for local government; and 5) provides the opportunity for market-based growth.OPPOSE legislation that would revise current law in a manner that significantly reduces current local government related revenues.
B. Sales Tax Exemption on Commercial Leases
SUPPORT legislation that would phase-in a reduction and eventual exemption of state sales tax on commercial leases, but preserving and “grandfathering-in” existing local (county) option sales taxes.
C. Property Taxes – “Elimination of Recapture Provision”
OPPOSE legislation that would eliminate currently existing recapture provisions for homestead and non-homestead property.
D. Aviation Fuel Taxes
OPPOSE legislation that would modify current aviation fuel taxes in a manner that would negatively impact counties or the state’s ability to provide resources in support of aviation transportation related operations.
E. 10% Non-Homestead Assessment Limitation
SUPPORT legislation that would extend current 10% assessment increase limitation on non-homestead property.
Local Revenue Enhancement/Modification
The Florida Association of Counties SUPPORTS measures that enhance the effectiveness of existing local revenue sources to meet current and future public service demands. Potential proposals that are of major interest to FAC include:
A. SUPPORT modifications to existing laws governing local discretionary sales and gas tax revenue sources to provide greater simplification, flexibility and more efficient administration and management.
B. SUPPORT expanding the eligibility to levy the Charter County Transportation Surtax to all counties.
C. SUPPORT indexing local option fuel taxes to annual adjustments of the CPI.