OLDSMAR — Gov. Rick Scott launched a two-day, campaign-style swing through the state Monday to celebrate the Legislature's decision to temporarily eliminate a sales tax on manufacturing equipment.
"This is a great victory," Scott told a trade crowd inside BryCoat, a local metallurgical coatings manufacturer. "By removing the tax, Florida businesses will now be able meet their full potential. Manufacturers can buy more equipment, hire more people, do more marketing, do more research."
The tax break won't take effect until next April and will expire in three years unless lawmakers renew it. It also could be subject to a constitutional challenge because it will reduce revenue to cities and counties by as much as $30 million a year.
Scott ignored that context Monday and focused on the jobs he says the tax break will bring.
"This is huge," said Richard Peck, owner of Oldsmar machined metal manufacturer QTM. "They did something right. We just bought two pieces of equipment and hired nine people."
Oldsmar, population 14,000, hosts about 100 manufacturers, Mayor Doug Bevis said. "This is incentive for more people to get into the business, employ more people and produce more product," he said.
The manufacturing tax break had been one of Scott's two priorities for the 60-day legislative session. Last week, he traveled the state promoting his other priority — a raise for teachers.