Did Florida legislators pull a fast one on Gov. Rick Scott when they passed a manufacturing tax break late Wednesday but left it in legal limbo?
The proposal, HB-7007, which gives every manufacturer a sales tax exemption on all industrial machines and equipment purchases for three years, was one of only two priorities of the governor. Estimated to save manufacturers about $121 million a year, it passed the House and minutes later the governor responded by signing into law two of the legislature’s top two priorities: an ethics bill and another to revise the state’s campaign finance laws.
But Democrats say the well-choreographed trade-off didn’t get the required two-thirds vote to be constitutional. If the governor signs it as expected, it could draw a lawsuit and be thrown out. It passed on a 68-48 vote, 12 votes short of two-thirds in the 120-member chamber.
“It looks like it’ll be challenged with all due speed,’’ said Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Plantation, the House Democratic leader.