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Report: Florida’s Low State Taxes Cost Residents More on the Local Level

June 20th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
A new report shows that state taxes in Florida are among the lowest in the nation.
Florida TaxWatch says the state ranks 42nd, but the low state tax burden comes at a cost in other, higher taxes.
Floridians pay an average of $5,679 a year in state and local taxes, almost $1,400 below the national average.
Florida TaxWatch says one of the reasons is tourists pick up part of the tab.
“That does offset the need, or the requirement for having a state income tax, a state inheritance tax,” said Dominic Calabro with Florida TaxWatch.
While the overall burden is low, the study found that local government taxes in Florida are the second highest in the country.
As lawmakers cut taxes, they pushed the burden to local government, especially when it comes to schools.
“So then the local has to raise their taxes, so the local is the one who looks bad and the state looks good,” said Joanne McCall, President of the Florida Education Association.
Florida is also one of the few states that charges businesses a sales tax when they rent property.
That’s made business taxes the 12th highest in the country.
This year, lawmakers cut the tax on commercial rentals by 0.1%, saving between 30 and $40 million.
The Florida Retail Federation has been fighting to end the rental tax altogether.
It’s something that all the businesses that rent space have to deal with,” said James Miller with FRA. “Also, local governments have been running wild with local taxes to pay for programs and initiatives on the backs of businesses. So that report doesn’t surprise us at all that we would have taxes that high.”
Also bringing down the state tax rate are higher than average taxes on utilities, fuel, cell phones and alcohol.
People in Arizona pay the least state and local taxes at $4924 a year.
North Dakotans pay the most at just over $12,000 a year.

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