Florida Farmers could see relief as soon as next year if a post-Hurricane assistance measure passes.

The Senate Finance and Tax Appropriations Subcommittee on February 20th voted unanimously to approve proposal SB 1608, which would offer assistance to Florida farmers affected by Hurricane Irma. The measure was proposed by Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, according to a Southeast AgNet article. See details of the proposal below.

Details of Assistance for Florida Farmers


According to the article, the proposal would, in part, “reduce property assessments on certain enclosed horticultural structures and offer tax refunds on materials used for construction of farm buildings and fences,” for Florida farmers. It’s part of an estimated $350 million tax package, HB 7087, for the ag industry that includes tax refunds on building materials, fencing and gas for farmers, a fuel tax refund on agricultural transportation, and a tax break on citrus processing facilities that have been shut down by Irma or citrus greening.

Grimsley, who is running for state agriculture commissioner in the 2018 race, said, “We know from practice that ag typically needs a lot longer to recover from a disaster like Irma than most industries, especially when it comes to moving materials and products.”

Florida ag suffered damages of $2.4 billion, an estimate put together by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The proposed reductions and refunds would be in addition to a federal spending bill that includes $90 billion for disaster relief, which Congress approved in February.

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