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Lease Tax Relief Down to Wire

South Florida Other

The commercial lease sales tax is still a thorn in the side of the industry here in Florida, and time is running out for some relief this year. (The commercial lease sales tax ranks below public speaking and above death on a list of biggest fears for industry folks.) Realtor Commercial Alliance Miami prez Edward Redlich fills us in on the details. 

1) There’s tax relief…


From the $500M in overall tax relief passed this year, most of it’s going toward a reduction in auto tag fees—good news for Floridians, and politically popular, but it doesn't leave much room for other important tax relief, such as the $100M that would be saved by cutting the lease tax from 6% to 5.5%. Snapped: Edward and Gov. Scott.

2 … But no lease tax relief yet


The Realtors are optimistic that some kind of lease tax relief is possible, though maybe not this time around. Tomorrow marks the end of the legislator's current regular session, but of course that won't be the end of the matter, since Florida remains the only state with this particular tax. If there’s no relief this time, lobbying will continue during the next session. (If at first you don't succeed, lobby harder.)

3) The Broad Appeal of Relief


Edward points out that relief wouldn’t just benefit landlords, it would benefit tenants, too. Thousands of Florida businesses who rent their space are subjected to higher costs because of this odd tax, and they stand to gain from a reduction of it (and someday abolition), as overall occupancy costs go down.