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Murphy, Crist, Bilirakis, and Buchanan Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Tax Relief for Florida's Fishing Industry

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Washington, June 8, 2021 | comments

WASHINGTON—U.S. Representatives Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Charlie Crist, D-Fla., Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., announced reintroduction of the Fishing Equipment Tax Relief Act, legislation that will equalize the tax rate for portable, electronically-aerated bait containers with the parts used to assemble them.

Currently, portable, electronically-aerated bait containers are taxed at a rate of 10 percent if sold assembled, but the parts used to make the containers are taxed at a rate of only 3 percent when sold separately, penalizing small businesses that manufacture these bait containers. The Fishing Equipment Tax Relief Act will level the playing field by reducing the excise tax rate on assembled portable, electronically-aerated bait containers to a uniform 3 percent. 

“As an avid angler, I know fishing is a critical part of the Florida way of life and vital to our state’s economy,” said Murphy. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan bill to ensure that Florida small businesses that manufacture bait containers and Florida fishermen who use these containers are treated fairly under the federal tax code.”

“The Sunshine State is the fishing capital of the world,” said Crist. “As an avid boater and fisherman, I know just how important fishing is to our economy, culture, and way of life. This bill will provide much needed tax relief to Florida’s fishing industry, safeguarding our small businesses, and keeping our economy strong and vibrant.”

Florida’s dynamic recreational and commercial fishing industry is vital to our economy and an essential part of the Florida way of life,” said Bilirakis.  “The industry has faced many challenges over the past few years.  Our bipartisan bill will offer important tax-equity in the fishing business, and represents an important economic boost as the recreation industry continues to recover.”

“Florida is the fishing capital of the world,” said Buchanan. “This bill levels the playing field for small businesses that manufacture bait containers and provides relief to Florida’s fishing industry. As a member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, I look forward to advocating for this important legislation.”

“The Fishing Equipment Tax Relief Act will help ensure the fair and equitable application of the fishing equipment excise tax,” said Glenn Hughes, President of the American Sportfishing Association. “Through the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, the fishing equipment excise tax provides much needed funding to conserve the nation’s aquatic resources. This bill is a targeted approach to address a specific challenge with how the excise tax is applied, without risking the overall viability of the program.”

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