Florida’s business taxes and what’s really on the line this election cycle.

Florida’s business taxes and what’s really on the line this election cycle... 

Excerpt: While Democrat Andrew Gillum wants to raise the corporate tax rate and Republican Ron DeSantis wants to lower it, the Florida Influencers think it shouldn’t change at all. 

A new survey of the Florida Influencers, comprised of 50 of the state’s leading political and policy figures, found that more than half of respondents (54 percent) believe the next governor should not alter the state’s current corporate tax rate of 5.5 percent. Meanwhile, 25 percent said the rate should be raised to provide more funding for education, and 21 percent said it should be lowered to spur greater business development. 

“I don’t believe a change in the corporate tax rate, either up or down, is warranted at this time,” said Brian Keeley, the president and CEO of Baptist Health South Florida. “The Florida economy, in general, is currently doing just fine.”

Bottom Line: Thank you for finally a semblance of sanity prevailing in this conversation within South Florida media. Florida’s economy is the best it’s ever been. More than half of Florida is experiencing record low unemployment. Most demographics are experiencing record low unemployment in our state. Wage growth is finally above 3% in our state, outperforming the national averages as well. Businesses continue to want to relocate and grow in our state. What happens if we have a 41% increase on even some businesses? Nothing but potential negatives for our economy. I have a hard time imagining how anyone can even deem this to be a rational conversation. 

What do you do when you’re having success in your life and doing the best you’ve ever done personally and professionally? Do you continue to what you’ve been doing, while learning and growing, or do decide to do a 180 and make the opposite decisions of what you’ve been doing and hope it works out? It’s frankly irrational. I understood why President Obama’s ideas seemed appealing to the time to many Americans given the economic calamity of the Great Recession (despite plenty of evidence I provided of why his policies wouldn’t be effective economically). In the case of Florida’s current economy, I can’t begin to fathom how people in mass could view a dramatic reversal of policy to be viable given the record performance of our state and maturation of our business development.  

What’s more is that Amazon’s been battling Seattle’s efforts to do to it what Andrew Gillum is proposing we do in Florida. Think a 41% tax increase on businesses will help or hurt our chances of landing HQ2? That's the difference here. We aren’t talking about a Gwen Graham style Democrat that would be fighting for different priorities with largely existing policy. We’re talking about a 180 from the policy that’s bringing us the best, and most sustainable economy we’ve ever had in our state.

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