For the first time in his brief and turbulent political career, Gov. Rick Scott needs a little help from Florida’s Democrats to turn one of his wishes into law.
Scott’s top legislative priority this year — a $141 million tax cut for manufacturers — comes with an asterisk: It has to garner ‘Yes’ votes from two-thirds of the Legislature to pass.
That means Democrats — whose gains in November breached the Republican supermajorities in Tallahassee — suddenly find themselves in an unfamiliar power position as they try to defeat Scott in 2014.
“I doubt that’ll be able to get a supermajority,” said Rep. Perry Thurston, a Plantation Democrat and minority leader in the Florida House. “It’s just another [business] incentive. We don’t know if it works.”
The bill seeks to eliminate sales taxes on all manufacturing equipment and machinery.
Scott has already put considerable political capital behind the tax cut, stating on numerous occasions that this was his top priority for 2013, along with a $1.2 billion boost in education funding.
“We need to build up manufacturing jobs in the great state of Florida,” he said in unveiling a $74.2 billion budget plan last month. Scott said the tax cut would create jobs and increase exports.
A failure on the measure would be politically embarrassing for Scott, who has staked his governorship on job creation and CEO-like efficacy.