TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson, State Senator Jay Collins, State Representative Danny Alvarez, and agriculture stakeholders announced recently filed legislation creating a Florida Farm Tax Exempt Agricultural Materials (TEAM) Card that will be used for sales-tax-exempt purchases of agricultural materials.
“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,” said Commissioner Simpson. “The Florida Farm TEAM Card will help to alleviate burdens felt by farmers and agricultural retailers in our state, and I applaud Senator Collins and Representative Alvarez for championing this commonsense legislation.”
Commissioner Simpson praised the creation of what will be known as the Florida Farm TEAM Card, through language included in SB 1164 and HB 1279, aimed at modernizing and reducing the burden of the current practice of submitting a paper form for every tax-exempt purchase of agricultural materials by providing a free physical card alternative to Florida farmers. The current process that Florida farmers are forced to participate in to receive the tax relief they are currently afforded has become so onerous that they are crossing state lines to participate in neighboring state programs that aren’t as burdensome. The Florida Farm TEAM card will help to make Florida a more farmer-friendly state to purchase needed supplies and goods.
“From spending my childhood on my family’s farm, to fighting for our country abroad, and now continuing service as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, I am committed to supporting our hardworking farmers and their livelihoods in our state,” said Senator Jay Collins. “I am proud to introduce this piece of legislation that will take some burden off of Florida’s farmers by modernizing the current and outdated process for agricultural producers to claim existing sales-tax exemptions.”
“It is beyond time that Florida Agriculture gets recognized for their importance and impact on our State and the Nation as a whole. 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,” said Representative Danny Alvarez. “The TEAM Card may be small and fit in a wallet but its economic impact will be huge by helping ensure that the purchase of farm supplies stays in Florida.”
“We greatly appreciate the leadership of Commissioner Simpson, Senator Collins and Representative Alvarez to modernize and streamline our process for receiving sales tax relief,” said Florida Farm Bureau Federation President Jeb Smith. “With rising input costs, growing and producing the food for our nation becomes more and more challenging. Florida farmers and ranchers appreciate any help that will allows us to stay in business, keep our grocery shelves stocked and keep Florida agriculture thriving.”