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Legislature Passes, Gov. Signs Biz Rent Tax Reduction

A multifaceted bill will net Fla. $1B from internet sales and eventually lower the business rent tax from 5.5% to 2% – a major Florida Realtors legislative priority.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a taxation bill (SB 50) into law on Monday. While the new law covers a number of taxation issues, one element lowers the business rent tax, which was a major Florida Realtors® priority this year and in previous years.

The bill should raise about $1 billion by collecting taxes on all internet sales. While Florida buyers were already required to pay sales tax on these online purchases, it was rarely done. However, SB 50 makes sure online retailers collect and remit the required sales tax on purchases made by Floridians.

Initially, the additional revenue will replenish Florida’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, which was depleted by the record unemployment caused by the pandemic. Once that’s replenished, however, the additional revenue will be used to reduce the business rent tax from 5.5% to 2%.

Florida currently charges a 5.5% sales tax on businesses that rent commercial space – the only state in the nation to levy this tax. Municipalities and local governments may levy taxes on top of the state sales tax rate, which means that some businesses are paying more than 8 percent in sales tax on their business rent.

The 2017, 2018 and 2019 Florida Legislatures had lowered the tax rate from 6 percent down to 5.5 percent.

Reducing the Business Rent Tax gives businesses the ability to expand, hire more employees, improve benefits and raise salaries.

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