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Rubio, Scott Introduce Tax Relief Bill for Florida's Fishing Industry

Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott introduced the Fishing Equipment Tax Relief Act on Thursday, legislation that would create excise tax fairness for potable, electronically-aerated bait containers to be the same as the parts used to assemble it. The tax code currently penalizes small businesses that manufacture these bait containers by applying the 3 percent rate if the parts are sold separately, but the 10 percent tax rate if the product is sold assembled.
Rick Scott and Marco Rubio
“Florida’s robust saltwater fishing industry is critical to our state’s economy and our residents’ way of life. This important legislation will provide meaningful relief to Florida’s fishing industry and ensure it continues to be a thriving piece of our state’s economy,” Rubio said. “Florida is the fishing capital of the world, and I take my responsibility seriously to protect our state’s environment and economy for future generations.”
Scott said, “Throughout my eight years as Governor of Florida, we turned Florida’s economy around. We cut taxes and eliminated burdensome regulations, saving Floridians more than $10 billion. I’m proud to build on those efforts by supporting the Fishing Equipment Tax Relief Act. This bill would save families more of their hard-earned money as they enjoy Florida, the fishing capital of the world.”
In Florida, saltwater recreational fishing has an $8 billion economic impact and supports over 114,000 jobs, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The two Republicans describe an electronically-aerated bait container as a portable fishing bait basin that is technologically enhanced to endure being submerged in water, freezing temperatures, heavy loads, and host live bait for saltwater fishing. They claim reducing the excise tax for such equipment will provide meaningful tax relief for Florida’s robust saltwater fishing industry because of its importance for saltwater fishing operations.

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