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Rubio, Scott Introduce Bill Giving Tax Relief to Florida’s Fishing Industry

May 2, 2019 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C.  — Today, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the Fishing Equipment Tax Relief Act, legislation that would create excise tax fairness for portable, electronically-aerated bait containers to be the same as the parts used to assemble it. The tax code currently penalizes small businesses that manufacture these bait containers by applying the 3 percent rate if the parts are sold separately, but the 10 percent tax rate if the product is sold assembled.
“Florida’s robust saltwater fishing industry is critical to our state’s economy and our residents’ way of life. This important legislation will provide meaningful relief to Florida’s fishing industry and ensure it continues to be a thriving piece of our state’s economy,” Rubio said. “Florida is the fishing capital of the world, and I take my responsibility seriously to protect our state’s environment and economy for future generations.”
Scott said, “Throughout my eight years as Governor of Florida, we turned Florida’s economy around. We cut taxes and eliminated burdensome regulations, saving Floridians more than $10 billion. I’m proud to build on those efforts by supporting the Fishing Equipment Tax Relief Act. This bill would save families more of their hard-earned money as they enjoy Florida, the fishing capital of the world.”
In Florida, saltwater recreational fishing has an $8 billion economic impact and supports over 114,000 jobs, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
An electronically-aerated bait container is a portable fishing bait basin that is technologically enhanced to endure being submerged in water, freezing temperatures, heavy loads, and host live bait for saltwater fishing. Reducing the excise tax for portable, electronically-aerated bait containers will provide meaningful tax relief for Florida’s robust saltwater fishing industry since this equipment is important for saltwater fishing operations.