TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Saving money on essential equipment just got a whole lot easier for Florida farmers, thanks to a new bill signed into law last week by Governor Ron DeSantis.
The governor signed HB 1279, simplifying the process by which farmers can make sales-tax-exempt purchases on agricultural materials.
TY, @GovRonDeSantis, for signing HB 1279 into law to modernize & simplify sales-tax-exempt purchases of agricultural materials for FL farmers, growers & ranchers. We are grateful to Commish @WiltonSimpson, Sen. @JayCollinsFL & Rep. Alvarez for spearheading the #FarmTEAMCard. pic.twitter.com/ONMncM3fZO— Florida Ag Coalition (@FLAgCoalition) May 26, 2023
The new law will create a Florida Farm Tax Exempt Agricultural Materials (TEAM) card in place of the current practice – where farmers are required to submit paperwork for every tax-exempt purchase of the qualifying materials.
Under the previous policy, Florida farmers were reportedly traveling to neighboring states that offered a simpler process for similar programs.
In March, Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson called the modernization bill “common sense legislation.”
“The Florida Farm TEAM Card will help to alleviate burdens felt by farmers and agricultural retailers in our state,” Simpson said. “When farmers succeed, we all succeed, which is why we need to support our farmers and take any weight off their backs that we can.”
The bill was sponsored by two Republican lawmakers in the Tampa area, Rep. Danny Alvarez and Sen. Jay Collins.
“Reducing barriers to their economic success through efforts like making the Florida Farm TEAM Card a reality is not only good for the consumer but it’s smart business for our farmers and agriculture retailers across the State,” Alvarez said in March.
The Florida Farm Bureau Federation, the state’s largest agricultural organization, applauded the effort to “modernize and streamline our process.”
“With rising input costs, growing and producing the food for our nation becomes more and more challenging,” the organization’s president Jeb Smith stated. “Florida farmers and ranchers appreciate any help that will allow us to stay in business, keep our grocery shelves stocked and keep Florida agriculture thriving.”
Sponsored by the Florida Ag Coalition.