Thank you Bradenton Herald for your support of reducing the state's business rent tax in an editorial published on Feb. 18, 2016, titled, "To Florida Senate, join House in cutting business rent tax."
Florida is the only state in the country that collects a business rent tax (or commercial lease tax), currently at a rate of 6 percent on the total rent charged, which may include ad valorem taxes, insurance, common area maintenance, customer parking, or janitorial service.
This rent tax places a significant burden on our businesses, requiring them to pay thousands of dollars a year more than they would in other states.
Currently, businesses are spending $1.7 billion in rent taxes, making Florida less competitive.
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The Manatee Chamber of Commerce has made the phasing-out of Florida's business rent tax a legislative priority this session, and it was a key point of discussion during our trip to Tallahassee while lobbying Gov. Rick Scott and the state Legislature.
With 53 percent of our members employing five or less workers, we place important emphasis on small businesses.
Whether the money saved helps create new jobs, increase wages, or helps grow a business, we believe these dollars would be better spent in our community.
I urge our members, small business owners and Manatee area residents who agree to join our effort by signing the Business Rent Tax Coalition's petition at www.CutMyBizRent.Tax.
Michael Gallen, Vice President, Public Policy & Small Business, Manatee Chamber of Commerce Bradenton