“We have moved to a recession that will be worse than the one we experienced in 2008,” UN Deputy-Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed.
For weeks citizens have been indoors, limiting movement and encouraging one another as they work together to flatten the exponential spread of COVID-19 across areas of Florida. While politicians are expressing sentiments of success for people’s collective efforts, there is a simultaneous downturn in economic productivity. The hardest hit by this negative trend is that of small business. Small businesses have not been able to operate while the large corporate retail giants steam on to provide goods and services. The economic health of our small business can not be dismissed. Last year, the United States Small Business Administration released a report that highlight 44 percent of the U.S. economy is comprised of small business. In Florida alone, 44.2 percent of employees work for small businesses. The amount of minority and veteran-owned businesses stand out positively for the state economy. These attributes are apparent, alive, and intensified in Hillsborough County, Florida. Seventy-nine percent of business in the Tampa Bay area is associated with small businesses.
During the global pandemic of COVID-19, the government reacted by shutting down businesses. At the time of this writing, the shutdowns are in the tenth week. The local businesses that serve all of us and our communities have not been able to be economically productive; however, they are still fully taxed for business property. Taxes are collected, yet, fellow citizens are unable to carry out the work needed to feed their families, have economic stability, contribute to the public, and gain income to pay the taxes.
The Libertarian Party of Hillsborough County is demanding the City Councils and County Commissioners order tax collectors to pro-rate the Tangible Personal Property tax bill before the bill is issued. Not only is this request economically and morally correct, but it is more palatable to our governments due to the recent federal passage of the federal CARES act. You can help your small business owning neighbors by sharing this plan and contacting your local council or committee members.
As a community, we can help make a difference by requesting our local politicians to order a tax abatement across the entire list of businesses in your jurisdiction. This call for tax reduction is being delivered to public meeting agendas in the spirit of fairness and standing together to support the backbone of our local economy. We look forward to a passing of the final form that will payback business owners Tangible Personal Property tax plus during the shutdown Executive Orders, across all government’s budgets of all recipients of the millage tax. While we can not reverse the physical and psychological damage caused by the current pandemic, together, we can help restore fairness and healing to Tampa Bay’s small business economy that is the lifeblood of Hillsborough County and beyond.
Questions about supporting paying back the Tangible Personal Property tax can be directed to Luke McClees Secretary and member of the political action subcommittee of the Libertarian Party of Hillsborough County.