E-commerce companies selling products to Florida residents in the state will have to collect a 6% sales tax starting July 1. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law earlier this week.
The new tax is expected to raise $1 billion in new revenue. Republicans plan to use the revenue generated to support the state’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, preventing a tax hike on businesses that would have been needed to maintain the solvency of the fund.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce said without passage of the bill, the state’s businesses would have been on the hook for a $713 million tax increase. An amendment to the bill also reduced the business rent tax from 5.5% to 2%.
“This basically makes the bill revenue neutral forever,” bill sponsor Sen. Joe Gruters told Florida Politics.
The bill passed the Florida House 93-24 and the Senate 27-12. DeSantis signed the bill on Monday.
Florida already had a “use tax,” which required residents to pay a 6% sales tax on items purchased outside the state’s borders. This included purchases made through the internet. The law, though, did not require the seller to collect the tax, and it is unclear how many Floridians actually filed to pay the taxes.
E-taxes were first made possible by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2018. In South Dakota v. Wayfair, the Supreme Court ruled that the state had the right to collect state sales tax on items sold into the state even if the selling entity did not have a physical presence in the state.
According to e-commerce platform BigCommerce, there are now 45 states plus the District of Columbia that have internet sales tax laws on the books.