That’s one of the many questions the Florida Legislature is grappling with as they struggle to plug the state’s massive deficit. Florida Tax Watch has compiled a list of sales tax exemptions that they believe should be removed, among which are the removal of the sales tax exemption on religious items and valet parking.
On the list, $224.8 million in annual exemptions for: charter fishing boats, bottled water, veterinary medicines, sales of religious items, movie theate concession rent, subsidies for the Professional Golf Hall of Fame and the International Game Fish Association, skyboxes rented by high school and college sports teams, and sales of U.S. and state flags.
TaxWatch also suggests it might be time to debate imposing a tax on these services: barber shops and beauty salons, dry cleaning and laundry, valet parking, photo finishing, pet care, fitiness facilities, pest control and lawn services and sightseeing bus trasnporation. Their annual potential revenue: $335.8 million.
Obviously, one of the items mentioned hits close to home—the World Golf Village in St. Augustine. The Hall of Fame has struggled financially during its short life and one wonders what the removal of subsidies would do to it. Of course, when legislators are left with the unenviable decision of cutting education spending or golf museum subsidies, which way could they possibly be forced to go?