Monday, 05 December 2016 12:14

FRF Releases 2017 Legislative Agenda in Support of Florida's Retail Industry

For Immediate Release: December 5, 2016
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Florida’s leading retail advocacy organization highlights those issues and topics important to retailers and which will be the focus in the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session

TALLAHASSEE, FL – With the Florida House of Representatives in committee weeks this week and the Senate set to follow suit next week, the Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced its 2017 Legislative Agenda in preparation for the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session in March. The agenda highlights those issues which are important to the success of retailers and Florida’s business community and which FRF will be focused on.

“Our legislative agenda, which is determined by our members each year, ensures that FRF is laser-focused on those issues important to retailers statewide, and which play a big factor in the success of our members,” said FRF President/CEO Randy Miller. “Our governmental affairs team is one of the most talented and influential in this state, and we look forward to working with Governor Scott, his administration and our Senate and House leaders in identifying legislation that will enhance Florida’s businesses.”

FRF’s agenda showcases the diverse range of interests that the organization advocates on behalf of each year, with issues impacting pharmacies, convenience stores and grocers among other industries. FRF’s Governmental Affairs team is comprised of President/CEO Randy Miller, Vice President of Governmental Affairs Melissa Joiner Ramba and Vice President and General Counsel Samantha Hunter Padgett along with the firm Johnson & Blanton serving as contract lobbyists.

Here is a complete rundown of the 2017 Legislative Agenda:

Proposed 2017 Legislative Agenda

GENERAL RETAIL BUSINESS
Support

  • Retain Preemptions | We support current Florida laws that require regulation of plastic, paper bags, and polystyrene at the state level and preempt local regulations.
  • Mainstreet Fairness | FRF continues to support the collection of sales tax on internet sales by remote sellers. This issue needs to be addressed at the Federal level and we encourage Congress to act immediately.
  • Commerce Clause | We support legislation that would preempt to the state legislature all issues that impact commerce within the state.
  • Accuracy in Damages | We believe that injured parties should recover based on their real expenses, not phantom numbers. We support corrective legislation to help restore truthful damage verdicts in personal injury lawsuits.
  • Workers’ Compensation Reform | The outcome of several recent Florida Supreme Court cases have had significant impacts on Florida’s Workers’ Compensation rates. We support reforms that will decrease rates for Florida’s retailers.
  • Renewable Energy Efforts | We support the continued efforts to provide options to retailers in Florida regarding renewable energy.

Oppose

  • Increase State Minimum Wage | We oppose any increase in the state minimum wage.
  • Increase in Minimum Threshold for Felonies | Retailers would oppose any legislation that would increase the minimum threshold for felonies.
  • Restricting the Sale of a Legal Product | We oppose any legislation or regulation that restricts the retail sale of a legal product.
  • Predictive Scheduling | We oppose any legislation that would dictate to a retailer the manner in which they should schedule their employees.
  • Pre-arrest Diversion Programs | These programs allow law enforcement officers to issue civil citations to adults who commit nonviolent misdemeanor offenses. FRF opposes this legislation when there is no system in place to track first offenses, therefore the person could become a perpetual first offender and continue in retail theft.
  • Pre-judgement Interest | We oppose legislation that would allow for the award of prejudgment interest in any action in which plaintiff recovers monetary damages.
  • Mandating the Sale of a Legal Product | We oppose any legislation or regulation mandating retailers to sell certain products.

TAXES
Support

  • Business Rent Tax Reform | Florida is the only state that assesses a sales tax on commercial real estate leases. The sales tax on commercial leases is assessed at six percent plus local option. The Florida Retail Federation supports efforts to repeal the tax, reduce the tax rate, modify the taxable base, or any combination thereof, in order to lessen this tax burden.
  • Sales Tax Holidays | Back to School; Disaster Preparedness; 1 Day Small Business; Energy-Star & WaterSense; -We encourage the Governor and Legislators to continue to fund Sales Tax Holidays. Studies have shown that they drive consumers to retailers during those specific times, and they are a direct benefit to the taxpayers.
  • State of Emergency Sales Tax Waiver | We would support legislation that would allow the Governor to waive the sales tax on certain items during a State of Emergency Declaration.
  • Corporate Tax Exemption for Small Business | We support any reduction in the corporate income tax rate for retailers.
  • Bad Debt Sales Tax Refund | We support efforts to increase the current 64% refund level of the sales taxes remitted related to bad debts to 100% of the remitted taxes on debt that has gone bad on a private label credit cards. This is a continuation of the legislation that passed in 2014, which allows for sales taxes remitted on private label credit card bad debts to be refunded in the same manner as the taxes refunded on bad debts resulting from revolving or installment sales credit transactions.

Oppose

  • Combined Reporting | In the event that Combined Reporting gets any traction during the 2016 Legislative Session, the FRF Lobby Team will oppose this Corporate Tax Filing requirement. If adopted, Combined Reporting will adversely affect most multi-state companies and would place Florida in an unfavorable position in its ability to recruit new businesses to relocate to Florida.
  • Pharmacy
  • SUPPORT
  • Grocery/Convenience Store | We support the Legislature requiring the doctors who write prescriptions for a controlled substance to check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program before writing the prescription and to report their dose into the program.

GROCERY/CONVENIENCE STORE
Support

  • Elimination of Transfer Switch Requirements for Gas Stations | FPMA knows the importance of the transfer switch but we believe it should not be mandated. We will support language that removes the mandate and provides incentives to install ones on new construction.

Oppose

  • Online Sales and/or Restriction of Lottery Sales | FRF & FPMA oppose the sale of lottery tickets online as well as any restrictions on sales amount in the stores.

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