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Tax Foundation Slams Tax Holidays, Film Industry Tax Breaks

Florida proposals for a back-to-school sales tax holiday and an expansion of the film tax credit program won't produce 'significant' tax relief the non-partisan Tax Foundation said in a report Wednesday.

“Sales tax holidays are politically popular and allow lawmakers to claim they’re cutting taxes and boosting sales, when in reality, the minimal tax relief is only temporary, and purchases are simply shifted from other times of the year,” said Tax Foundation Economist Mark Robyn, the author of the report. “Similarly, film tax credits provide for good photo-ops featuring movie stars and politicians touting job creation, but the programs simply lead to a bidding war among states to see who can offer Hollywood the most generous handouts.”

Retailers in Florida say the tax holiday is extremely popular with shoppers and actually boosts revenue because buyers typically buy products not covered.

Advocates for film industry tax breaks, including those in the industry, say it provides jobs that film makers would be happy to provide in other states with tax incentives.

The Tax Foundation typically favors low taxes, but has also generally been oppposed to targeted tax policy. Several bills on the two tax issues have been filed for the coming session.

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