CAPITOL UPDATES: Week 3

I am sure you can agree that Floridians deserve to keep more of their hard-earned money. I wanted to keep you updated on an important piece of legislation that we passed in Tallahassee recently to reduce that taxes and fees that are paid by Floridians on their vehicle licensure.

Just a few short years ago, we confronted a $6.4 billion shortfall. Now, thanks to responsible fiscal management, we have turned that shortfall into a surplus and can once again offer meaningful tax cuts for all Floridians. This year’s $500 million tax cut will be the largest tax and fee cut of its kind in over a decade.

The House is proposing to significantly reduce vehicle licensure taxes, fees and surcharges for Floridians. This tax relief is broad based and provides meaningful savings.

The first House tax and fee cut proposal, HB 7123, significantly cuts the taxes, fees, and surcharges for motor vehicle licenses. This measure will constitute $309 million in tax relief in Fiscal Year 2014-15, and $395 million on an annual basis. Putting more money back in the hands of hardworking Floridians will help our economy continue to grow and prosper.

The reductions will return taxes, fees, and surcharges to at or below their 2009 levels. Individuals renewing their vehicle licensure pay some combination of fees based on the size and type of vehicle they are renewing. Therefore, the savings associated with this bill will be different for each category of renewal. However, examples of the savings a typical driver can expect are as follows:

  • For the heaviest weight cars, the total reduction is $25.05 or 34.9 percent.
  • For middle weight cars, the reduction is $21.55 or 36.9 percent.
  • For the lightest cars the reduction is $18.55 or 39.1 percent.

In order to ensure the Highway Safety Transportation Trust Fund is not negatively impacted, the bill adjusts the distribution of the $225 initial registration fee (s. 320.072, F.S.) from the current formula of 44.5 percent to the State Transportation Trust Fund and 55.5 percent to General Revenue to a new formula of 44.5 percent to the State Transportation Trust Fund, 14.3 percent to the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund, and 41.2 percent to General Revenue.

The bill will go into effect September 1, 2014.

This is the first proposal for the House’s tax cut agenda. We will continue to look for ways to put money directly back into the pockets of hard-working Floridians this session.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, and I look forward to continuing to update you on our Session.

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