February 2, 2022

‘We Cannot Afford More Corporate Giveaways’: Groups Urge State Leaders to Reject Special Interest Tax Cuts

Nonprofits and advocacy groups are urging state leaders to stop a $624 million corporate refund and oppose any new legislation that would automatically reduce corporate income tax revenue 

ORLANDO, Fla. – A group of 31 nonprofits, advocacy and faith-based organizations, and others from across the state today called on Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Wilton Simpson, and House Speaker Chris Sprowls to oppose new legislation that would extend corporate income tax (CIT) downward adjustments, payouts, or breaks for wealthy businesses.

The letter specifically urges state leaders to reject Senate Bill (SB) 1090, a corporate tax break measure being considered tomorrow in the Senate Finance and Tax Committee, which would cost $3.5 billion in foregone revenue over the next several years.

As of January 1, 2022, Florida’s CIT rate has returned to 5.5 percent — a rate reset that will generate upwards of $1.2 billion annually in general revenue. This was the level it was at for 35 years before policymakers temporarily reduced it via an automatic downward adjustment in 2018 and 2020. The downward adjustment mechanism was originally supposed to expire in 2019; however state lawmakers extended it through December 31, 2021. Consequently, Florida has lost out on more than $1.8 billion in forgone revenue that could have been used to help local families through the pandemic.

In the joint letter, the signees, which include Florida Policy Institute, Florida Conservation Voters, SEIU Florida Public Services Union, and Florida Voices for Health, expressed that: “Floridians need good-paying jobs, good schools, safe and affordable housing, reliable transportation infrastructure, clean water and energy, and a robust safety net. The truth is that we can raise the money to provide these services if we rewrite the rules so that everyone contributes what they rightly owe, not just small businesses or families with low to moderate income.” 

Sadaf Knight, CEO of FPI, said: “State leaders have an opportunity to set Florida up for long-term shared prosperity by ensuring that corporations are paying what they owe in taxes. Unfortunately, we are now seeing movement on legislation that threatens our state’s resiliency. Senate Bill 1090 would provide yet another tax break for corporations and cost the state over $3.5 billion over the next few years, with no guarantee that Florida will recoup this lost revenue in the future. We strongly urge state leaders to keep the CIT rate as is and reject measures that would provide further tax cuts for special interests.”

Aliki Moncrief, executive director of Florida Conservation Voters, said: “Clean water, protected natural areas, and climate-resilient communities are absolutely vital to Florida's future. Voters have made clear time and again that they are willing to invest tax dollars to protect our environment and quality of life. Everyone benefits from a healthy environment. Taxpayers are paying their share, and it's time the Legislature holds corporations to the same standard.”

Afifa Khaliq, director of programs at SEIU Florida Public Services Union, said: “We simply can’t afford to continue with business as usual. Working families are increasingly getting concerned that Florida continues to underinvest in essential services and everyday Floridians. We don’t need new corporate income tax cuts nor another multi-million dollar payout for wealthy corporations, what we need is to raise and use revenue to improve the quality of life for working Floridians and their families.” 

Scott Darius, executive director of Florida Voices for Health, said: “Raising sustainable state revenue is important for funding health services long term. The corporate income tax rate reset is an opportunity to use revenue to improve health outcomes in our state, especially for communities facing high disparities.” 

FPI is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing state policies and budgets that improve the economic mobility and quality of life for all Floridians.

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