The chambers’ tax cut recommendations might provide a short-term, nominal benefit to families; however, neither proposal addresses the underlying inequalities built into Florida’s tax code.
Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance and Tax Committee passed their proposed tax cut packages for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20. While the proposals have a few similarities and a similar FY 2019-20 price tag ($102.4 million for the House proposal and $111 million for the Senate), the proposals diverge in the types of taxes they include and their policy objectives.
Neither of the proposals would help to mitigate the inequality built into Florida’s tax system. The Sunshine State ranks 48th in the nation for tax fairness— those with the lowest incomes pay a much greater share of their incomes in state and local taxes, compared to Florida’s wealthy residents. These tax cut packages would not benefit Florida’s working families, nor would they help in maintaining or growing the revenue needed to fully invest in the state’s future. Tax cuts that have an immediate and recurring impact on Florida’s revenues are simply unaffordable, particularly as the Legislature consistently reduces or diverts funds away from impactful and much-needed investments in affordable housing, education, health care and the environment.
The table below outlines each chamber’s tax proposal. The analysis for each proposal includes the fiscal impact for the first year in which the proposed change would be enacted, and the recurring impact for each year after that. Once enacted, these types of expenditures tend to stay on the books without review or evaluation of their benefit to the state. Florida’s “silent spending” – the tax credits, exemptions, deductions and refunds that are built into the state’s tax code — will account for $20.5 billion this fiscal year and have grown by an average of $780 million each year since FY 2009-10. These proposals would only add to the continually increasing amount of foregone tax revenue.