TALLAHASSEE, Florida -Gov. Rick Scott is preparing to sign into law one of his top priorities from the spring legislative session -- a tax break on manufacturing equipment.
The measure will eliminate state sales taxes on purchases of manufacturing equipment for businesses like Danfoss Turbocor in Tallahassee. The company makes state-of-the-art compressors for heating and air conditioning systems.
Supporters of the legislation believe it will boost Florida's manufacturing industry and help create good jobs.
Currently only about four percent of Florida's jobs are in manufacturing. They pay an average of $52,000 a year -- about $10,000 more than the average wage in Florida.
David Hart of the Florida Chamber of Commerce calls the tax break a smart move.
"This change is a way to make us more competitive and attract some of those jobs, which by the way, that sector, manufacturing jobs, pay about 122 percent of the state average for salaries so great jobs to bring to our state."
The tax break comes at a time when Florida's manufacturing industry is experiencing new growth. The latest figures show Florida's 18,000 manufacturing businesses grew 3.3 percent from 2010-2011. The rest of the state's economy grew 0.5 percent.
Florida ports are praising the legislation. JAXPORT CEO Roy Schleicher says it will help boost Florida's exports.
"With JAXPORT's exceptional connections to global trade lanes, manufacturers can already get their goods quickly to market. In order to attract more manufacturing, adopting this legislation will eliminate unnecessary obstacles to their success so we fully achieve our mission of providing jobs and opportunity for Florida citizens."
The tax break would start in 2014 and continue through 2017. Then state lawmakers will review the measure to see if it's working.