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1 Mark Robyn, Florida's Sales Tax Holiday and Film Tax Credit Proposals Will Not Deliver on Exaggerated Promises 1 (2010)

handle is hein.taxfoundation/ffcbaxz0001 and id is 1 raw text is: FISCAL


Florida's Sales Tax Holiday and Film Tax
Credit Proposals Will Not Deliver on
Exaggerated Promises
by Mark Robyn
The last two years have brought an economic recession and steadily rising unemployment around
the country, with the national numbers only recently showing signs of improvement. With the
nation focused on jobs and the economy, state lawmakers are under strong pressure to do all they
can to help nurse their states back to health. Many of the ideas legislators propose to help the
economy are changes to the tax code which, alas, are often useless or even counterproductive, and
here Florida is no exception.
Unemployment in Florida is even worse than the national average, reaching 11.8% in December
2009 with indications that it may continue to climb. With an eye on job creation and economic
stimulus, Florida legislators have introduced two tax-related bills. The first would reinstate a ten-
day, back-to-school sales tax holiday during the month of August.' The second would institute a
$75 million film tax credit program.2
Sales tax holidays, the popular name for temporary suspensions of sales taxes on specific
products, have become popular with lawmakers and voters. Lawmakers claim that sales tax
holidays provide a significant tax cut for consumers and benefit the broader economy by
increasing sales. Film tax credits have also become very popular with lawmakers over the last
decade and are promoted for their economic and job creation benefits. Both of these proposals
represent a misguided approach to tax policy and fail to deliver on their promises.
HB 483, http:/iwww.nvfloridahouse.goviSections/Billsbillsdetail.aspx?Billld=42851
2 Ht
HB 697, http.: //www.Myfloridqho use. go  Sction:/B ills/bilsdet'il. spxB ilfld=4 3119

Mark Robyn is staff economist at the Tax Foundation.

February 17, 2010
No. 210


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