DeSantis Signs E-Fairness Bill


Just before midnight Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 50 instituting sales tax requirements for online retailers, into law.

The bill requires out-of-state online retailers to collect and report sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians. The tax will bring in an estimated $1 billion in revenue, as well as limit taxes paid by Floridians and Florida businesses.

The proposal was backed largely by Republicans in the legislature and business groups saying the issue of online sales taxes was an issue of fairness and leveling the playing field.

State revenue from the tax will be used to restore an unemployment trust fund and will be used as a steppingstone to reduce a commercial rent tax.

“The tax cut on business rent is an added bonus,” said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “With this cost-savings, Florida businesses across all sectors of the economy can reinvest in their community, create jobs and grow their businesses.”

The Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida League of Cities, and Florida TaxWatch all voiced their support for the bill.


Democratic critics of the legislation said they supported the concept of e-fairness but would rather have seen the revenue generated be used for unemployment benefits and referred to the legislation as a “regressive tax.”

“Governor just signed a bill into law to increase your taxes and give the new revenue of $1 billion to businesses,” said Rep. Anna Eskamani, (D-47).

Physical retailers applauded the measure as they are currently required to collect and remit sales taxes. Online-only retailers have not been under the same requirement.

“We’ve created an unfair competitive advantage for foreign players and out-of-state retailers on the backs of our local retailers,” said Sen. Joe Gruters (R-23).

Rep. Chuck Clemons (R-21) and Rep. Chip LaMarca (R-93), proponents of the bill, said it will  level the playing field between online-only and brick-and-mortar retailers.

Florida now joins 45 other states requiring online-retailers to report sales taxes. 

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips. 












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