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Business Advocates Roll Out Support for Rick Scott's Call to Cut Taxes on Manufacturing Equipment

January 8, 2013 - 6:00pm

Business groups statewide were quick to come to the support of Gov. Rick Scott as he proposed offering new incentives to manufacturers to build additional business in Florida.

Scott will ask legislators this spring to eliminate taxes on the purchase of equipment by manufacturing companies.

Right now, if you have a manufacturing company in Florida and want to buy more equipment, then you have to pay a sales tax. We need to eliminate that so Florida companies are not at a competitive disadvantage, Scott said while on WOVK 690 AM in Jacksonville on Wednesday morning.

Each step taken toward complete elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment moves Florida into a more competitive position, allows for more growth in this industry, and eliminates the pyramiding, or duplication, of taxes throughout the manufacturing process, Nancy Stephens, executive director, of Manufacturers Association of Florida, stated in a release.

Hannes Hunschofsky, president of Pompano Beach-based Hoerbiger Corporation of America Inc., released a statement that deregulation efforts pushed by Scott have helped the company plans to invest $20 million for expansion over the next five years.

Advanced manufacturing is capital-intensive, and every break that government can provide is an added incentive to keep desirable jobs in Florida and in the U.S. For 2013, Hoerbiger Corporation of America Inc. has an investment budget of $3.6 million, Hunschofsky stated. Half of that dedicated to high-tech machinery which will ultimately bring higher-level jobs with it.

Other pro-business interests include the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of Florida, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Florida Port Council, Florida Tucking Association, Small Business Development Council, Florida Economic Development Council, Florida Retail Federation, Transportation Builders Association, and Florida United Business Association, along with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

With an estimated 17,500 manufacturing companies in operation in the Sunshine State, Scotts proposal would eliminate the need for businesses to demonstrate meeting a set production output mark in order to qualify for the sales tax exemption.

The productive output mark was cut in half a year ago.

This will give more manufacturing companies an incentive to do more business in Florida; thats going to create more jobs for Florida families.

No numbers were immediately available on how much this could cut revenue.

The call comes on the heels of Scott saying in November he wants Florida lawmakers to double the amount of money in the Quick Response Training Program, which supports business expansion efforts, to around $12 million.

Scotts announcement on Wednesday coincided with a pair of jobs announcements: Sunrise-based Bolton Medical Solutions announcing its stent manufacturing and sales would require an additional 60 jobs over the next two years; and 130 jobs over the next two years at Parametric Solutions, which assembles turbine engines for aircraft and power generators, announced in Jupiter on Wednesday afternoon.

As part of a release on the tax incentive release, Scott stated:

Floridas current policy puts our state at a competitive disadvantage because most states do not force manufacturers to pay taxes on the purchase of equipment or require them to adhere to regulations for tax exemptions. In order to build up our manufacturing jobs in Florida, we must remove these barriers to investment. We know that when manufacturers purchase equipment in our state, they are investing in Florida workers for years to come. We want more manufacturers to move to Florida, and our existing manufacturing companies to buy the equipment they need to grow and create more jobs to support Florida families.

Eliminating the barriers on investment for our manufacturing industry will also benefit our ports and the many small businesses that support manufacturers. Manufacturing accounts for almost 90 percent of Florida exports that depend on our ports. Small businesses make up nearly 96 percent of the states exporting firms and produce 67 percent of the states total exports. Building up Florida manufacturing is about building up Florida jobs all across our state.

Statements in support of Scott's tax break proposal:


The impact of manufacturing on Floridas economy cant be understated since more than 17,000 companies employing more than 300,000 Floridians provide products, equipment and items that we use every day, said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. We need to attract and grow manufacturing jobs if we want Florida to be more competitive. To that end, the Florida Chamber has called for the doubling of Florida-origin exports over the next five years. As we work to secure Floridas future, the Florida Chamber commends Governor Scott for continuing to position Florida as an economic development leader. Governor Scott clearly understands that more competitive manufacturing will allow Florida ports to export more products that are made in Florida.


As the state affiliate for the National Association of Manufacturers, AIF shares Governor Scotts vision of making Florida the worlds premier business destination. We are eager to help the governor improve Floridas business climate and create an economic environment that fosters job creation, said Tom Feeney, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida. As the Voice of Florida Businesses and representing more than 10,000 employers across the state, we look forward to assisting our members with ways their businesses can tap into the increased productivity that will result from this tax relief proposal for Florida manufacturers.


Floridas small businesses will play an important role in ensuring the success of Governor Scotts goal to increase manufacturing and exporting in Florida, said Bill Herrle, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business/Florida. By recommending this proposal, the governor is taking another step in making Florida the top state for businesses and job creation. The NFIB supports this bold proposal and is eager to continue assisting our members with the resources and guidance they need to be successful.


Doug Wheeler, president of the Florida Ports Council said, Governor Scotts commitment to growing Floridas economy is evident by his desire to make Floridas ports more accessible and competitive than ever before. The most effective way to increase Floridas exports is to increase its manufacturing output. Florida is currently the fourth largest export state in the nation, with 15 deepwater seaports that play a vital role in our states economy. In 2011, Floridas international trade was a record $149 billion. Cargo-related activity at Florida seaports generates more than 550,000 direct and indirect jobs and contributes $66 billion in economic value to the state. With changes to the Panama Canal, unmatched access to Latin America and the Caribbean and continued investment in ports, Florida is uniquely positioned to lead the nation in both the volume and value of trade moving through these ports.


Increasing the productivity and output of Floridas manufacturing industry means more products that will require the assistance of Floridas vital trucking industry and its hard-working and dedicated members statewide, said Florida Trucking Association President and CEO Mary Lou Rajchel. Governor Scotts continuing goal of creating more jobs is great for Florida, and we look forward to the important role that the Florida Trucking Association and its members will play.


Floridas small businesses are key to Floridas economy, creating four out of every five new jobs and accounting for 85 percent of the total businesses in the state, said Jerry Cartwright, the state director of Floridas Small Business Development Council. Hearing of the governors focus on manufacturing and exporting is great news, as it means an increased role for Floridas small businesses which currently comprise almost 96 percent of the states exporting firms, producing more than 67 percent of total exports. This also means the potential creation of even more small businesses and the jobs and positive economic impact that come with them. The SBDC looks forward to meeting the critical needs and continuing to provide the foundation for the development of new small-business enterprises that are created as a result of the governors proposal.


Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature have been steadily improving the business climate for manufacturers in Florida. Each step taken toward complete elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment moves Florida into a more competitive position, allows for more growth in this industry, and eliminates the pyramiding, or duplication, of taxes throughout the manufacturing process. said Nancy Stephens, executive director of the Manufacturers Association of Florida


Increasing Floridas production and overall economic development will lead to a more diversified economy, job creation and an improved business climate, said Amy Evancho, president and CEO of the Florida Economic Development Council. We support Governor Scotts vision of making Florida a world class business destination, and Floridas Economic Development Council will continue to support our statewide network of economic development professionals who play a vital role in moving Florida manufacturing forward.


Floridas transportation system will play a central role in supporting Governor Scotts proposal of increasing the states total exports via a focus on manufacturing, Bob Burleson, president of the Florida Transportation Builders' Association. The potential increase in manufacturing and exporting will lead to more opportunities for workers currently employed in our industry as well as new jobs for those unemployed but eager for work. The Florida Transportation Builders' Association is confident that Floridas current integrated transportation system will show how effective and efficient the state is at delivering goods and products globally.


Small businesses are the backbone of Floridas economy and vital to the success of any statewide proposal. The governors proposal of moving Florida manufacturing forward is great news for businesses and will result in more jobs and more opportunities for the states small businesses, said Lance Lozano, chief operating officer of the Florida United Businesses Association.


The Florida Retail Federation is dedicated to making Florida one of the best places in the United States to do business, and Governor Scotts proposal, which focuses on reducing taxes, increasing the states production capacity and ensuring that businesses succeed, has the support of the FRF, said Rick McAllister, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation.


Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said, Manufacturing means exports, and that is why it is so critical to Florida and to our economy. I support eliminating the sales tax on manufacturing equipment. This sends a clear signal to manufacturers throughout the state that we support you, and that we want you to grow your business and create jobs.


St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster said, Manufacturing affects nearly every business in our community. From the plants where goods are made, to the trucks theyre shipped in, to the store that sells them, manufacturing plays a critical role in our community. The governors proposal supporting manufacturing businesses will have a positive effect on most businesses in our community, and I look forward to helping in any way possible to get this done.


Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said, For our community to succeed, we have to ensure were providing quality manufacturing jobs. The elimination of the sales tax burden combined with Florida's prime location, business climate and quality of life would dramatically increase our communitys chances of being chosen as the location for these manufacturers who are creating the jobs. Governor Scott and his team have put together a great initiative to grow and support jobs, and I encourage our legislators to support this plan.


Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez said, Our community has seen great gains in terms of employment, and Governor Scotts proposal to remove the productivity tax from manufacturing businesses would support the sort of job creation initiatives families depend on.

Reach Jim Turner at or at (772) 215-9889.

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