CORAL SPRINGS, FL - For over a year now, our Chamber along with many others throughout the state have been advocating for commonsense COVID liability protections to protect the business community.
Last week, the Chamber-backed COVID liability protections legislation became the very first bill of the 2021 legislative session passed by both bodies of the Legislature and sent to the Governor.
SB 72 provides liability protections for businesses, educational institutions, and health care facilities that have substantially complied with governmental health and safety guidelines to keep employees, customers, and patients safe. SB 72 is retroactive to the start of the pandemic, unless a lawsuit has already been filed, and creates heightened standards for litigation to proceed and a business to be held liable. This very important bill was signed into law by Governor DeSantis.
Main St. Fairness Bill Sent to Governor- Reducing commercial rent tax to 2 percent
SB 50 was passed yesterday by both the house and Senate. Currently, Florida is one of only two states that does not have requiring out of state retailers to collect and remit sales tax on online purchases if they have a significant economic presence in the state. Historically, brick and mortar businesses have been at a 6 percent disadvantage in Florida compared to their online counterparts because they are required to collect sales taxes. The legislation also requires marketplace providers, like Ebay or Amazon, to collect and remit sales tax on behalf of their sellers. This bill is important to Florida’s business community because it places Florida main street businesses on equal footing with out-of-state businesses and remote sellers.
The best news is that the revenue collected from the online sales will be used to reduce the state’s unemployment compensation trust fund and finally, reduce the commercial rent tax (Florida is the only state in the country that charges sales tax on commercial leases.)
The bill will reduce the commercial rent tax from 5.5 percent to 2 percent!
Cindy Brief is the president/CEO of Coral Springs Coconut Creek Regional Chamber.