Gov. Rick Scott is asking the Florida Legislature to slash taxes by $618 million in the coming year.
Scott will make three stops Wednesday to promote his “Fighting for Florida’s Future” tax cut package, beginning the tour in Jacksonville, then heading to Tampa before he finishes up in Fort Lauderdale, all before 4 p.m.
Scott will be promoting several of the same tax breaks he has routinely pitched to state lawmakers. A 10-day back-to-school tax holiday, a hurricane tax holiday and a veterans sales tax holiday are all on the table for potential tax breaks.
This year, Florida shoppers got a three-day back-to-school holiday.
Scott’s also keeping businesses in mind as he promotes a tax cut for commercial leases and a total elimination of corporate sales tax. Scott plans to cut business rent taxes by $454 million. He is also pitching a yearlong elimination of sales tax on college textbooks, which the governor's office says will save students $48 million.
The large tax cut package plays into Scott’s narrative and overall goal of being a promoter of Florida’s economic health. The economic growth, Scott believes, will flow naturally if Florida keeps the economy strong and offering incentives to Floridians and Florida businesses.
Scott has been heavily focused on job creation and on tax cuts since he took office in 2010. Just last year, he proposed an even heftier tax cut -- to the tune of $1 billion -- to Florida lawmakers. The governor has often faced difficulties in getting large tax cuts approved by state legislators.
"When we cut taxes, it helps businesses create jobs - jobs that ultimately help the poorest, most disadvantaged families in our state," Scott said in a statement.
State lawmakers are planning to look at cutting a state budget from anywhere to $1 billion to $2 billion in the coming months. Florida’s budget will be incredibly tight in 2017, with forecasts predicting the state will have just enough money to meet Florida’s needs -- with a surplus of only $7.5 million.