“Governor Scott Wants to Cut $180 Million in Taxes and Fees”
WKMG-ORD (CBS) – Orlando, FL
November 6, 2017
To view the clip, click HERE.
Sen. Bill Nelson urged leaders of a dozen financial companies to provide a moratorium on late fees and other penalties for Floridians affected by Hurricane Irma.
Following is the text of the letter sent yesterday to the companies:
September 14, 2017
Mr. Kenneth Chenault
Chairman and CEO
American Express Company
American Express Tower, 200 Vesey Street
New York, NY 10285
Dear Mr. Chenault
As you know, Florida is beginning to come back from the depths of Hurricane Irma, a monster storm that swallowed much of the state, flooding neighborhoods and knocking out power for millions of people.
As we begin the recovery process, it’s important that consumers not be saddled with late fees and other unnecessary costs—particularly those without the means to deal with such costs. Therefore, I ask that you provide a 60-day moratorium on late fees, interest accrual, penalties, and any other unnecessary costs, to give people time to recover and get back on their feet.
I’ve been heartened by the many stories of Floridians helping Floridians as I crisscross the state and survey the damage. I ask that you follow their example and do all you can to ease the burden on those suffering from the storm. Now is the time to lend a helping hand to your fellow Americans—to help them meet their immediate needs without the added stress of excessive financial demands.
I look forward to hearing your response to this request and stand ready to work with you to serve the people of Florida. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Governor Rick Scott announced today that he will cut over $8 million in additional annual fees for Florida’s veterans, seniors and businesses during the upcoming legislative session. Governor Scott has been fighting to eliminate fees and unnecessary regulations since he first took office.
Governor Rick Scott said, “When we cut fees and taxes, it helps businesses create jobs, and reduces costs for families across our state. This session I look forward to working with the Legislature to cut more than $8 million in unnecessary fees. We have to continue to do all we can to return more money back to families and job creators.”
Some of the fee cuts include:
Fee Cuts for Seniors
- Free Vehicle Title Transfers for Surviving Spouses. Currently, surviving spouses are required to pay the $70 fee to retitle deceased spouses’ vehicles. This will exempt spouses from paying the fee and save $1.6 million for Floridians annually.
- Free Replacement and Renewal ID Cards for Citizens 80 and over. This will exempt seniors 80 and over from paying the $25 fee on new or replacement ID cards. This will save over $700,000 for Florida’s seniors.
- Free Original ID Cards for Citizens 80 and Over Who Surrender Their Driver License. Many senior citizens decide to no longer hold a driver license to operate a vehicle, yet still need an ID card. The Fighting for Florida’s Future Budget exempts citizens over the age of 80 from paying the $25 fee who surrender their license. This is expected to save $2.3 million for Florida’s seniors.
Fee Cuts for Veterans
- Free Veteran Designation on New Identification, Licenses, and Renewals. Florida is the most military friendly state in the nation, and having a veteran’s designation on an id makes accessing some of these advantages easier. The Fighting for Florida’s Future Budget recommends eliminating the $1 or $2 fee required to get this designation on ID or drivers licenses when either renewing or replacing a license. This will save $58,000 for Florida veterans.
- Free Commercial Driver’s Licenses for Veterans. This will save veterans who obtain an original commercial driver’s license the $75 fee and will save Florida’s veterans about $141,000 annually.
Fee Cuts for Businesses
- Reducing All Fees Associated with Commercial Driving Schools by 50%. This will cut the new application fee from $50 to $25, the new issuance fee from $200 to $100, and the annual renewal fee from $100 to $50. This is expected to save Floridian’s $25,000 annually.
- Reducing Delinquency Fees. Individuals who are late renewing their license must currently pay a separate “delinquency fee” in addition to their renewal fee ranging from $25 to $260. The Fighting for Florida’s Future Budget recommends reducing delinquency fees to a flat rate of $25, saving licensees $680,000 annually.
- Reducing Building Permit Surcharge. Currently, to help fund the enforcement of the Florida Building Code, local builders are required to pay a 1.5% surcharge on building permits. The current surcharge amount creates increased construction costs for consumers. The Fighting for Florida’s Future Budget will reduce the surcharge amount from 1.5% to 1%. Resulting in nearly $2.6 million in annual savings for consumers while still maintain sufficient funds for code enforcement activities.
- Eliminating Sales and Use Tax Registration Fees Using Paper Applications. Many businesses are required to pay sales and use taxes each year. Currently, businesses are not required to pay any fee if filed online, however, if filed using paper application they are charged a $5 fee. The Fighting for Florida’s Future Budget will eliminate this $5 fee, saving Florida businesses more than $130,000 annually.
Senator Doug Broxson said, “I am proud to make lowering fees for Florida families and businesses a priority this session. Governor Scott has been a leader on eliminating fees and regulations for Floridians and I thank him for championing these fee reductions today.”
Representative Brad Drake said, “Economic development is one of the most important issues our residents face, not only in North Florida, but across the state. By cutting state fees we will allow hard earned dollars to remain with Floridians where they belong.”
In addition to fee cuts, Governor Scott proposed the “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Tax Cut Package that includes four sales tax holidays which will save Florida families an estimated $98 million in the upcoming fiscal year. These sales tax holidays include $18.4 million in savings from a three-day veteran’s sales tax holiday. Florida would be the first state to provide a sales tax holiday for veterans and active duty service members.