HB 7063 (Ways and Means Committee/McClain) is the annual comprehensive tax package. The bill contains various provisions concerning sales taxes and exemptions, the state corporate income taxes, documentary stamp taxes, intangible personal property taxes, ad valorem taxes, and various other tax provisions affecting county, municipal and state revenues. Among the many tax provision, the bill:
•Permanently exempts several products from sales tax including baby and toddler products, oral hygiene products, adult incontinence products, and firearm storage devices, among others.
•Provides for various sales tax holidays including two 14-day back-to-school tax holidays, two 14-day disaster preparedness tax holidays, a three-month recreational sales tax holiday and a seven-day “tool” sales tax holiday.
•Clarifies that totally and permanently disabled veterans and surviving spouses may transfer their existing homestead exemption to a new property and that such veterans and surviving spouses who purchase a home in Florida may receive a refund for taxes paid in the year of purchase.
•Limits county authority to levy special assessments on land classified as agricultural (bonded assessment revenues are exempted). This prohibition does not apply to non-agricultural structures on the property.
•Requires counties to go to referendum to impose additional tourist development tax levies. It also extends statutory authority to use 10% of tourist development tax revenues for public safety/law enforcement purposes to all fiscally constrained counties.
•Increases the discrepancy thresholds for a property appraiser to challenge a value adjustment board (VAB) decision in circuit court.
•Requires that any referendum for specified taxes (e.g., the Tourist Development Tax, Tourist Impact Tax, Children’s Services Tax, Discretionary Sales Surtaxes, Ninth-Cent Fuel Tax, and Local Option Fuel Tax) must coincide with a general election and may only take place once within 48 months prior to reenactment or increase of the tax.
•“Freezes” local communications services tax rates at their current level until January 1, 2026.
•Provides additional guidelines for property owners to receive a property tax refund following a catastrophic event that renders their residence uninhabitable.
•Appropriates $35 million to offset the reductions in local property tax revenues from complying with section 197.3181, Florida Statutes, directing counties to issue prorated property tax refunds to property owners whose homes were rendered uninhabitable by Hurricanes Ian or Nicole.
Effective date: July 1, 2023, except as otherwise provided. (Chapman)