Politics & Government

Passage of GOP tax plan will aid Florida citrus farmers, Rep. Buchanan says

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined by, from left, Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., smiles as they unveil the GOP's far-reaching tax overhaul, the first major revamp of the tax system in three decades, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined by, from left, Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., smiles as they unveil the GOP's far-reaching tax overhaul, the first major revamp of the tax system in three decades, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. AP

Aided by Rep. Vern Buchanan’s vote, the House passed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act Tuesday, which he says, “Floridians have needed for a long time.”

The bill passed through the House by a 227-203 vote and includes Buchanan’s measure that aims to assist Florida citrus growers who were affected by Hurricane Irma. It will also provide economic relief for the “average family,” according to Buchanan.

“The average family of four will receive a tax cut of more than $2,000 a year while small businesses will see a significant tax reduction that allows them to expand and create good-paying jobs,” Buchanan said.

Gov. Rick Scott has voiced his support for the bill and Buchanan’s Emergency Citrus Disease Relief Act.

“In Florida, we have cut taxes more than 80 times saving families over $7.5 billion, and today is an important step to return money back to Americans,” Scott said in a statement. “ Hurricane Irma decimated this iconic Florida industry and I have continued to advocate for months for funding to help Florida’s citrus industry fully recover.”

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that this growing season would yield the lowest amount of oranges in Florida since 1944-45.

Dean Mixon, owner of Bradenton-based Mixon Fruit Farms said he’s also thankful for the passage of Buchanan’s bill.

“Irma took a serious toll on our community and the entire citrus industry is grateful that Vern is helping to provide the relief we so desperately need,” Mixon said in a statement from Buchanan’s office..

The Senate is expected to vote on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Tuesday evening.

Ryan Callihan: 941-745-7095, @RCCallihan

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