Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive student loan debt is a financial burden to “everyday Americans.” Charlie Christo, DeSantis’ Democratic rival for governor, countered in a tweet that DeSantis taxed middle-class Floridians.
DeSantis “donated $624 million to large corporations while taxing the middle class more than $1.5 billion,” Christo said. August 25th Tweet.
DeSantis criticizes Democratic-led states like New York for imposing a heavy tax burden on their residents. So I wondered if Christo’s portrayal of DeSantis’ tax system was accurate.
PolitiFact found that DeSantis signed a bill to amend Florida’s online sales tax in 2021, but the tax wasn’t new and wasn’t aimed at the middle class. The company paid him $624 million during his DeSantis tenure, but there’s more background to know than Crist provided.
DeSantis Revises Florida Online Sales Tax
Christo talks about a law DeSantis signed into law in 2021 that changed how states collect sales tax on online transactions.
Law SB 50 requires online marketplaces that do not have a physical presence in Florida to collect and remit sales tax on merchandise shipped to customers within the state. The state estimates it generates about $1 billion annually. (The State Department of Revenue did not confirm the amount collected when asked about Crist’s $1.5 billion claim.)
Florida already imposes a 6% sales and use tax on goods. Prior to SB 50, customers were expected to contact their state revenue department and pay any taxes owed on purchases from remote sellers.
But compliance was “notoriously poor,” according to analysis by legislative staff. Florida changed its law after a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision removed the requirement that sellers have to be physically present in the state to collect and remit taxes to it. did.
Experts told PolitiFact that SB 50 did not create a new tax, but shifted the responsibility for sales tax from consumers to distance sellers.
“The ability to require a wide range of sellers to collect at the point of sale would increase collections, but this is an enforcement action and a new tax,” said Jared Walzak, a researcher at Washington state’s bipartisan Tax Foundation. No. DC-Based Research Group.
The Tax Foundation neither supported nor opposed the 2021 bill, but said the amendments had merit, with more than 40 states enacting similar legislation “on a broad bipartisan basis.”
Florida consumers pay taxes on some purchases they didn’t previously pay, but we found no evidence to support Christo’s claim that the law targets the middle class.
“People of all income levels shop online,” says Walczak. “There is nothing about strengthening enforcement of existing sales and use taxes that target specific income groups.”
Florida gave $624 million to big business
Christo’s campaign cited HB 7127 — a law DeSantis signed into law in 2019 that extended a temporary corporate tax cut initiated by former Gov. Rick Scott in 2018.
Scott signed the first tax refund to offset changes brought about by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which broadened the definition of corporate income while lowering the federal corporate tax rate.
This action increased taxable income for Florida corporate taxpayers and increased the state tax burden on corporations. The 2018 bill reduced the corporate tax rate and triggered automatic refunds to eligible corporate taxpayers.
DeSantis has allowed the downward adjustment of the corporate tax rate to continue for two more years. In the spring of 2020, he dodged a call from a Democratic congressman asking him to cancel a tax refund.
A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Revenue told PolitiFact that it returned about $624 million to the state’s corporate taxpayers this year.
More than 21,000 corporate taxpayers benefited from the refund, according to a spokesperson.
Christo said DeSantis has collected “more than $1.5 billion in taxes for the middle class” and donated $624 million to “large corporations.”
it is misleading. DeSantis signed into law to amend Florida’s online sales tax (the state estimates it generates about $1 billion a year), but the law either sets a new tax or targets only the middle class. did not do it.
Christo had more important points, given the amount of money the state of Florida has reimbursed large corporations. The Florida Department of Revenue told his PolitiFact that it returned about $624 million to the state’s corporate taxpayers this year.
In 2019, DeSantis signed into law extending provisions that temporarily lowered the corporate income tax rate, signed by former Gov. Rick Scott. brought.
Although Christo’s statement contains elements of truth, it ignores important facts that give a different impression. We rate it mostly wrong.