Governor Rick Scott kicked off a statewide victory tour today at the Johnson and Johnson Vision Care plant in Jacksonville to celebrate the end of Florida’s sales tax on manufacturing equipment.
The new law, which takes effect July 1st, lets companies make equipment purchases without worrying about the added cost of state sales tax. Scott says this means the 17,500 manufacturers in Florida will have more money to invest in the state.
"When a manufacturing company doesn't have to pay this sales tax any longer, when they buy machinery and equipment... they can put those dollars into hiring more people," said Scott. "They can put more dollars into marketing, and more dollars into research and development."
David Brown, who's the Director and President of Johnson and Johnson Vision Care, says the tax savings will make a big difference.
"When considering where to make key investments, costs are an important part of the decision-making process. This new tax break could help off-set the high cost of new machinery which is vital to innovation and growing our business."
The plant makes Accue-Vue contact lenses.
Opponents of the new law say eliminating the sales tax for manufacturers will reduce money going to counties. It’s possible it could face a legal challenge because it did not get the two-thirds vote required for bills that affect local government tax revenue.
The governor’s 2-day victory tour also includes stops in Miami and Orlando.