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Rick Scott honors Jax company, ceremonially signs tax cut bill

When Governor Rick Scott visits a Florida town, odds are good that job creation is on the agenda. Wednesday in Jacksonville was no exception.

Scott announced that Novolex will be expanding their Hilex Poly brand manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, which will create 25 new jobs and invest $6 million in the local community.

Novolex makes plastic bags for grocery stores throughout Florida. As Scott noted, “you can’t go to a grocery store without touching one of their products.

Novolex, with 37 plants across the country, employs more than 100 Floridians. For Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, the location of these jobs is vital.

On Wednesday, Curry cited his commitment to “job creation in every Zip Code,” noting that Novolex’s location in Health Zone 1, an area of Jacksonville that struggles with economic, health, and public safety woes, is “really important.”

Councilman Aaron Bowman, whose day job is with JAXBIZ, noted that this project has been in development for a couple of years, and was thrilled it came to pass, because “this area needs jobs.”

“If an opportunity [arises] to get jobs in the Northwest Quadrant,” Bowman said, “we’ll do it.”

This package, Bowman added, was particularly notable because there were no public incentive money involved.

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During the announcement, Governor Scott also ceremonially signed HB 7099, which includes the permanent elimination the sales tax manufacturing machinery and equipment and a three-day back-to-school sales tax holiday. Over the past two years, Florida has cut more than $1 billion in taxes.

Scott thanked bill sponsors Senator Dorothy Hukill and Representative Matt Gaetz “for their relentless commitment to putting more money back into the pockets of Florida taxpayers through passing this legislation.”

“This bill will not only give Florida families an important back-to-school sales tax holiday, but it will also permanently eliminate the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment so companies like Novolex can invest more money in growing their business and creating new jobs. We will continue to do all we can to cut more taxes and support economic growth so Florida can become first for jobs.”

Hukill added that the bill offers a “range of tax relief,” including on the purchase of manufacturing equipment, which will help to diversify the economy.

An enthusiastic Rep. Lake Ray, who helms the First Coast Manufacturers Association, noted the importance of manufacturing jobs, saying that “companies want to come back to the United States” and that Florida is leading the way.

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Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican, later released his own statement. He chairs the House’s Finance and Tax Committee:

“We have made the decision in Florida that we can grow our economy, meet the needs of our state and care for the vulnerable not by having more taxes, but by having more taxpayers,” he said. “These tax cuts welcome new families, businesses, and visitors to our state each day.

“I was proud to spearhead the House’s efforts to cut taxes by over half a billion dollars this Session. As Finance & Tax Chairman, I have made it my mission to leave no tax safe and free as many Floridians as possible from the burden of crushing and unfair taxation. I applaud Governor Scott for signing these tax cuts into law. The adoption of this law constitutes more than $1 billion in tax cuts over the past two years. That is $1 billion less for government to squander and $1 billion more for our families, veterans, and job creators to harness to grow our economy and keep Florida on the path of prosperity.”

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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