SFMA ADVOCACY

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SFMA ADVOCACY

For over 55 years, SFMA has been advocating on behalf of the south Florida manufacturing industry. Having a unified voice makes a difference in local, state and federal affairs. There is definitely power in numbers. SFMA advocacy was instrumental in the elimination 12645016_10153230241042484_3560479022181744251_nof sales tax on capital equipment and research and development, saving members more than $500,000 in the first 18 months after its elimination. In 2016 this exemption became permanent. Working with the Manufacturers Association of Florida (MAF) and the network of regional manufacturing associations (RMA’s) – SFMA has helped secure millions of dollars in grant monies for manufacturing training.

The South Florida Manufacturers Association is continually looking for ways to make the business climate ideal for manufacturers here in south Florida and throughout the state. Please contact us if you have an issue you feel the association should address. Contact SFMA President June Wolfe at jwolfe@sfma.org.

CURRENT ACTIVITY

After one Legislative Session is over another begins. SFMA immediately begins working with the Manufacturers Association of Florida (MAF) and the other Regional Manufacturers Associations (RMA’s) working on next year’s agenda. That means – there is time for outside input and other ideas to add to the final agenda MAF submits to the legislature in 2017.

Each year at this time we ask our members and manufacturers what’s on their minds that could be addressed through the MAF advocacy program. Over time the MAF members will prioritize them and set the top 5 to 10 for the legislative agenda for the upcoming year. While it may seem early to be collecting information for 2017, it takes all year to acquaint legislators (and candidates) on the issues, as well as the Governor.

The MAF Board of Directors identified a beginning list that included the following issues:

  • Controlling government mandates that are reflected in utility bills
  • Recapitalizing manufacturing machinery and equipment
  • Preventing raids of transportation trust funds and dedicating funds to help manufacturers move goods
  • A 10-year tangible personal property tax exemption
  • Elimination of the tax on commercial leases and rents
  • Making more state money available for research and development and changing the process for application to one that is fair to all
  • Increasing Incumbent Worker Training Funds
  • Maintaining the “FloridaMakes” funding
  • Eliminating the cosmetic product labeling requirements at the state level
  • Pursuing medical device regulatory reforms at (federal)

If you have other issues you would like to put forward please contact June Wolfe, SFMA President, to discuss or write jwolfe@sfma.org.

SUCCESSES

Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment Sales Tax Exemption – permanently eliminated.

By the end of the 2016 Legislative Session the Sales Tax Exemption for manufacturing machinery and equipment (MME) had been permanently eliminated. MAF led the charge in this legislation which changes the landscape for manufacturers across the state. MAF working with SFMA and other Regional Manufacturing Associations met with legislators from the Florida House and Senate to talk about the issue, why it’s important and what it means to our state. Manufacturers traveled to Tallahassee and testified in committee hearings. Governor Scott visited many SFMA members and other manufacturers around the state asking for help in this endeavor – calling. emailing and visiting legislators, talking about the importance to the manufacturing industry. MAF leaders worked alongside Governor Scott’s office each step of the way to ensure our top priority, and his, was successful.

Saving the best for last, MME was the final bill to be heard and ultimately passed on the last day of session. Included as part of the House’s tax package, the permanent sales tax exemption received strong support from both sides of the legislature before being sent to Governor Scott’s desk for approval.

The bill was signed by Governor Scott at a ceremony in Jacksonville on April 13, 2016. Senator Hukill, a bill sponsor, and MAF President Al Stimac were present to celebrate. Also in attendance was Volusia Manufacturers Association (VMA) and many manufacturers and industry supporters.

The journey to get this sales tax exemption permanent has been long one, but ultimately successful! We thank the Manufacturers Association of Florida (MAF) for their guidance and active lobbying on this issue. Governor Scott is a tremendous advocate for manufacturing and his support has been the foundation for this victory.

Click here to download a Suggested Exemption Certificate for use when purchasing new equipment – making use of this permanent sales tax exemption.