In a rare Sunday conclusion to the legislative session, the Florida House and Senate approved a tax package that provides relief for farmers impacted by Hurricane Irma, while also offering sales-tax breaks at the start of the school year and hurricane season.
According to a story from the News Service of Florida, Senate Finance and Tax Appropriations Chairwoman Kelli Stargel touted efforts to provide “targeted tax relief that promotes ongoing recovery from the recent hurricanes that devastated our agriculture community.”
The package, HB 7087, offers tax breaks on agricultural fencing materials purchased for repairs after Hurricane Irma. Also, it includes tax breaks for citrus packing houses that had their businesses interrupted by Hurricane Irma or by the deadly disease citrus greening and for fuel used to transport agricultural products after the storm.
The House voted 93-12 and the Senate 33-3 to approve the package. Now all eyes are on Governor Rick Scott to see if he will sign the package, which does include other tax breaks totaling about $170 million.
But Florida lawmakers ended the 2018 session Sunday by passing an $88.7 billion budget. In a 95-12 vote, the House approved the 2018-2019 budget (HB 5001), which takes effect on July 1. The Senate then approved the budget in a 31-5 vote.