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Tax Law

Florida Seeks to Expand Communications Services Tax Base, Streamline Local Application

S.B. 1174, a bill seeking to simplify and reform the Florida communications services tax, has advanced in committee. The bill would expand the definition of taxable “video services” to expressly include streaming services where access to content expires at a specific time or on the occurrence of a condition subsequent. Per the legislative analysis and fiscal impact statement, the bill is an attempt to codify the position already being taken by the state Department of Revenue.

The bill also attempts to streamline the communications services tax rates, setting one tax rate for all municipalities and charter counties and a second tax rate for non-charter counties. Currently, 482 localities set their own caps. Under S.B. 1174, charter counties and municipalities may charge at either 0.0% or 4.0%, and non-charter counties may charge at either 0.0% or 2.0%. The changes to local rates would take effect January 1, 2021.