Throughout this year’s legislative session, the Legislature’s budget decisions and legislation were driven by two underlying themes, getting Florida’s economy back on track and helping create jobs for Floridians.
I focused my responsibility, as your representative, on our community and our local businesses. I followed your directive to incentivize new businesses, stimulate job creation and remove barriers to economic growth in Florida.
Keeping Florida a low-tax, low-cost state is vital to our state’s prosperity, and we passed several pieces of legislation aimed at tax relief for Floridians this year. The initiatives championed putting the taxpayers first and were built on the belief that the money collected by government is not the government’s to begin with; rather it is your money. Legislation ranged from the popular Back to School Sales Tax Holiday to several constitutional amendments.
In November, you will have the opportunity to vote on tax-relief measures for our low-income seniors, our veterans and our businesses. These amendments, to Florida’s constitution, would require 60% of the vote in order to be passed into law. Their implementation is up to you, the voter, not the Legislature. Voting in November will include electing your local officials and voting on policy decisions that will impact Florida.
Tax relief is not just about providing relief to families and seniors; it’s also about stimulating our economy and our local business. Many of you emailed me about legislation that pursued policies encouraging entrepreneurship and re-investment in our state. Our community advocated for keeping taxes low and our local business community advocated for the streamlining of government programs and the elimination of duplicative regulations. Your requests were heard and legislation was implemented that will aide our local business sector and our region.
In the past two years our state government has removed more than 1,400 burdensome regulations inhibiting small businesses. During the legislative session, we passed $223 million in economic incentive programs and more than $90 million will be available to provide economic incentives to attract new business opportunities and promote job growth.
Additionally, HB 7027, Unemployment Compensation, was passed, and the legislation will ease the unemployment tax burden on Florida’s businesses. The legislation will provide the same benefits to the unemployed, while providing Florida businesses $800 million in tax relief over the next three years.
The increase in the corporate income tax exemption will assist Florida’s job creators. Changes made by several pieces of legislation focus on reducing regulatory requirements of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. These changes will allow our community to grow and show its resourcefulness, and it will encourage businesses to invest in our area and the state.
The Legislature took a responsible, long-term view toward restoring Florida’s economy this year. We continued to work to prepare for a future that will once again place Florida among the top states in economic growth and prosperity in America. I am proud that our community is thriving and it is an ever-growing and unique blend of the arts, agriculture, technology, tourism and manufacturing. We will continue to call our home the best community in Florida to work, raise a family and retire. Your emails, phone calls and meetings impacted my supporting policies to strengthen Florida’s economic future. We are a great community for many reasons and your advocacy on the behalf of issues that impact you is paramount to our continued success and growth.
State Rep. Greg Steube represents Florida District 67.