Business briefs: Gov. wants longer hurricane sales tax holiday

January 28, 2014 

TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Rick Scott is proposing a 15-day sales tax holiday for hurricane preparedness supplies as of part his proposed 2014-15 state budget.

The proposed sales tax holiday will begin June 1 and run through June 14 and will cover hurricane preparation supplies, such as flashlights, batteries, weather radios, and other basic items that are essential to building a disaster supply kit.

The move has support from many state retailers as well as the Florida Retail Federation.

Specific items included in the sales tax holiday are tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting selling for $50 or less; a self-contained first-aid kit selling for $30 or less; a ground anchor system or tie-down kit selling for $50 or less; a gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $25 or less; a nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $30 or less; a portable generator that is used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage selling for $750 or less.

Area chambers to host Rays luncheon Feb. 25

BRADENTON -- The Manatee Chamber of Commerce and The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce will host the 2014 Meet the Rays luncheon Feb. 25.

Attendees will have the opportunity to have lunch, mingle with management, meet players and get pumped for the 2014 season. The event will feature giveaways of game tickets and Rays promotional items, as well as the opportunity for questions and answers.

The cost is $40 for members, $55 for non-members and $20 for children under 12.

Registration is required to attend the 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. networking event. The deadline for registering is Feb. 21.

For more information or to register, contact Jen Bartolone at , 941- 748-3411 or Jamie Overmiller at, 941-556-4034. For online reservations, go to

New program will shift policies from Fla. insurer

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida's largest insurer has launched a new program to shift policies over to other companies.

The state-created Citizens Property Insurance on Monday started requiring new customers to use a property insurance clearinghouse.

The program requires insurance agents to look at offers from four private insurers before allowing someone to purchase a Citizens policy.

A customer is ineligible for Citizens if one of the insurers charges premiums that are within 15 percent of Citizens rates.

State legislators authorized the clearinghouse to help reduce the number of people insured by Citizens. Citizens has more than 1 million policyholders.

Other insurers will be

added to the clearinghouse later this year. Citizens plans by the middle of 2014 to require that current customers go through the clearinghouse before their policies are renewed.

Herald staff and wire reports

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