Introduction from Governor Rick Scott

Our executive budget for 2014-2015, the “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget,” reflects our commitment to give $500 million back to Florida families through tax and fee cuts, eliminate government waste and pay down debt. These are the three steps in our formula to create jobs for generations to come. This budget will continue to drive the economic turnaround our state has made over the last three years as we build on policies to keep Florida working.

In the four years before I took office, Florida lost more than 800,000 jobs, the unemployment rate rose to 11.1 percent, the real estate market had collapsed, thousands of government regulations were hurting businesses, and state debt ballooned by $5.2 billion.

But, over the past three years we have laid a foundation of reforms to cut taxes, pay down debt and reduce spending. These pro-growth policies supported the creation of more than 462,000 private sector jobs in our state, and our vibrant economy led to a major drop in our unemployment rate – now below the national average at 6.2 percent. Our housing market is also recovering and values have increased 41 percent. Nearly 3,000 state regulations on families and job creators have been repealed and we have paid down $3.6 billion in state debt.

This budget builds on our already strong record of 24 tax cuts, including the elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment to help jump-start manufacturing investment and property tax cuts for Florida homeowners and businesses. Already, over 70 percent of Florida businesses are exempt from paying the business tax.

Our “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget” will keep the great Florida turnaround story going. This budget recognizes that taxpayer money belongs to the people who earn it. Not government. Therefore, this budget includes measures to cut wasteful government spending by $287 million, pay down state debt by $170 million, keep $5.1 billion in reserves, and give $500 million back to taxpayers rather than spending it on government.

This budget eliminates the 2009 annual automobile tax and fee increases to save Floridians an estimated total of around $401 million. This budget also cuts around $100 million in taxes on commercial leases to give small businesses more money to invest in their own future. And, we are lowering the business tax and reducing filing fees, which will support the creation of more jobs.

Creating more job opportunities for Florida workers means it is more important than ever to make sure we have the most skilled workforce in the world. That is why our “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget” also makes a record investment of $18.84 billion in K-12 education. This is the highest total funding level for K-12 education in Florida history.

Florida’s economy is growing. We are on the rebound. More revenue does not mean we should grow government. Instead, we should grow our businesses. We should grow the hopes and dreams of Florida families. Three years ago, we got to work to turn our state around, and with another $500 million in tax cuts we will keep working to make Florida the number one destination for opportunity in the world.


Governor Rick Scott
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