Today MAF had the pleasure of assisting the Governor with a press announcement at Vistakon – Johnson and Johnson in Jacksonville, one of MAF’s Manufacturers of the Year for 2012, to announce an exciting MAF initiative for the 2013 Legislative Session, endorsed and proposed by the Govenor. Rep. Lake Ray, President, First Coast Manufacturers Association, Debbie Warren, Vice President, First Coast Manufacturers Association, Ron Avery, The Ronco Group and MAF Government Affairs Chairman, John Otterson, International Flavors and Fragrances, Trish Bowles, Georgia-Pacific, Mike Bell, Rayonier, Edward Barlow, Swisher, Kate Barry, Medtronic and Nancy Stephens, MAF were all on hand for the announcement.
As you know, MAF has been chipping away at the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment for years, making incremental progress in a difficult political environment. Last year Governor Scott joined our crusade with another improvement which took effect on January 1, 2013. We are delighted to announce that today Governor Scott made the final commitment on this tax – he is proposing complete elimination of the manufacturing machinery and equipment sales tax. This is music to our ears!
And that is not the only thing he is proposing – he would like to double the state funding for Quick Response Training from $6 million/year to $12 million/year. Manufacturers are major recipients of these training funds. This was another MAF initiative on our 2013 legislative agenda.
Now we all must press Florida legislators to make these proposals law in the 2013 Session. We hope you will join us at Manufacturing Days at the Capital to help spread the word. The Governor’s announcement is below. Thank you to Vistakon – Johson and Johnson for hosting the Governor’s Press Conference. Feel free to share this with your employees!
Gov. Scott: We are Building Up Florida Manufacturing Jobs
This morning I visited Johnson and Johnson Vision Care in Jacksonville to announce my commitment to Building Up Florida Manufacturing Jobsduring the upcoming legislative session. Manufacturing is a vital part of Florida’s economy, and companies just like Johnson and Johnson play a vital role in our economy. For families to succeed, Florida manufacturers must succeed.
In order to build up Florida manufacturing jobs, we must get rid of the barriers on manufacturing investment in our state. To do this, we will fully eliminate the taxes on the purchase of equipment to encourage manufacturing companies to grow in Florida and strengthen our economy. By making it easier for Florida’s manufacturers to do business in our state, we can create more opportunities for our economy and our families.
Today, there are 17,500 manufacturing companies in Florida that employ over 300,000 Florida families. Yet, Florida’s current policy puts our state at a competitive disadvantage because most states do not force manufacturers to pay taxes on the purchase of equipment or require them to adhere to regulations for tax exemptions. In order to build up our manufacturing jobs in Florida, we will remove these barriers to investment.
We know that when manufacturers purchase equipment in our state, they are investing in Florida workers for years to come. We want more manufacturers to move to Florida and our existing manufacturing companies to buy the equipment they need to grow and create more jobs to support Florida families.
Building up Florida manufacturing is about building up Florida jobs all across our state. My proposal will also benefit our ports and the many small businesses that support manufacturers.
Manufacturing accounts for almost 90 percent of Florida's exports. With Florida’s recent investments in our ports, Florida manufacturers and exporters are a powerful combination for the state’s economy.
Small businesses are also key in Florida’s manufacturing and exporting. They make up nearly 96 percent of the state’s exporting firms and are responsible for producing 67 percent of the state’s total exports. My proposal will ensure Florida’s small manufacturing businesses and start-ups can succeed.