MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Governor Rick Scott started his day at the PortMiami as part of his Building Up Manufacturing Victory Tour.

The focus of the tour is to highlight the positives of recently passed legislation which eliminates the 6% sales tax on manufacturing equipment. Supporters of the tax incentive say it will result in a revenue increase because it encourages manufacturers to hire more workers and boost investment in the state.

“When I talk to families here’s what they say to me. Governor I want a job,” said Scott.

The bill (HB 7007) – approved in the final days of the legislative session – was sent to the governor’s desk last Thursday and he has until May 24 to sign the document into law.

“When you put this money back into manufacturers hands and hire more people and spend more money on research and development and buy more equipment do more marketing it all ends up in more jobs for Florida families,” said Scott.

“The governor has been very consistent since the beginning to saving money for companies so they can hire more people,” Miami-Dade Commission Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa.

The proposal also eliminates a requirement that limits the current exemption on sales tax for manufacturing equipment to those who can show they’ve increased productive output by at least five percent. It also allows a manufacturer to receive a tax exemption for equipment upgrades at an existing facility.

Leasandra Godfrey has been a custodial worker at PortMiami for five years. She was born and raised in Miami-Dade and is one of the many of the port’s workers who look forward to the trickle down effect of the tax cut.

“You know I’m going to spread the word because everyone in back of me has had someone impacted by the economy, losing a job,” said Godfrey pointing to her co-workers. “So it’s a plus for me and I support it completely.”

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the sales tax break is just another step in making the county more competitive, not just throughout the state but the country.

“We are doing our part here at PortMiami, we’ve done the tunnel, we are going to connect the port to the rail and then finally the deep dredge which will allow more ships to come in,” said Gimenez. “So all of those things are creating jobs, not just today but thousands of jobs in the future.”

The change has been estimated to reduce sales tax collections by $141 million a year. Lawmakers made the tax break good for three years, and delayed its implementation until April 2014.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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