Dorothy Hukill Launches Proposal to Cut CST, Save Floridians Millions
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Florida Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, is looking to cut the communication services tax (CST) in the Sunshine State, noting that even slight reductions in the rate will save Floridians tens of millions of dollars.
On Monday, Hukill filed Senate Bill 266 which, if passed, will reduce the CST rate by 2 percent. According to Hukill, this reduction would save Floridians more than $282 million. Hukill noted that Floridians would save money on a host of fronts if her bill passes. The CST was created from other taxes and fees back in 2001.
Hukill’s staff told Sunshine State News on Monday that they would have a sponsor in the Florida House but were not ready to announce who it would be yet.
Earlier this year, Florida TaxWatch released a study on Florida’s CST which found, at an average of 14.21 percent, it was one of the highest in the nation and well above most other taxes in the Sunshine State. The study also found Florida had the fourth highest wireless tax rate in the nation, trailing only Nebraska, Washington and New York.
“In the relatively short time since the CST was created, technology has outdated the tax. The CST has many problems, including its very high tax rates,” said Dominic Calabro, the president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, when the study was released. “There is no discernible public policy justification for what amounts to discriminatory taxes on Floridians’ communications services, which ends up in most cases being more than double the maximum state and local sales tax rate in Florida.”
Calabro and Florida TaxWatch continue to show an appetite for cutting the CST in Florida. Late last month, Calabro penned an op-ed at FSU News arguing that Gov. Rick Scott should make cutting the CST one of his top priorities as he looks to cut taxes in the 2014 legislative session.
Hukill insisted more taxpayers will be impacted by cutting the CST in the years to come as Floridians increasingly use new technologies.
“There are over 18 million cell phones alone in Florida today and growing daily,” said Hukill, “Floridians need a tax break and this is the tax break they deserve.”
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.