Today, Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) kicked off “Cut My Taxes Week” at the Florida State Capitol. Taxpayers are being invited to bring their bills and use a tax cut calculator to see their savings under the governor’s proposed cell phone and TV tax cut.
Whether or not you’re a resident of Florida, you can use the calculator to see what kind of savings you’d experience under Gov. Scott’s proposal by clicking here.
The Florida Communication Services Tax (CST) is imposed on cell phones, cable and satellite TV, and non-residential landline phone services. While the state rate is 9.17 percent, with local taxes the average rate exceeds 14 percent and is as high as 17 percent in some areas.
Governor Scott’s proposed tax cut reduces the state portion by 3.6 percent to 5.57 percent, which equates to a potential $470 million in annual savings for taxpayers. Estimates suggest the cut will save every single Florida family around $43-$54 a year, depending on their provider and service.
Currently, Florida has the fourth highest CST rate in the country, behind Washington, Nebraska, and New York. These state, local, and federal taxes can add up to more than 22 percent of service costs, which represent a significant burden on families, especially low-income ones. Prepaid calling services are not subjected to these high discretionary tax rates, making switching more attractive.
The CST tax is not neutral as it forces consumers to alter their behaviors. Reducing it will provide financial relief to families and small businesses and may create jobs by attract more investments in telecommunications infrastructure.
Gov. Scott is so committed to this most recent set of tax cuts that he will be manning the booth at the state capitol himself today and tomorrow. Florida residents are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to calculate their savings with the governor in person.
The Senate Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities Committee unanimously passed a version of Scott’s tax cut. Americans for Tax Reform encourages the entire legislature to pass the CST cell phone and TV tax relief legislation.
Flashback: Governor Rick Scott has already signed over $2 billion in tax cuts into law. He also campaigned for re-election on reducing the communications tax and is a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.