With the help of an Orlando lawmaker, a local bail bonds company is lobbying the Florida Legislature for a new tax break.
The company, Accredited Surety and Casualty Company Inc. of Orlando, wants lawmakers to slash the effective tax rate it and other bail underwriters pay in Florida insurance-premium taxes from more than 20 percent to less than 2 percent.
Accredited and other boosters say the move would make it easier for it and other Florida-based bail underwriters to grow and compete around the country. They also say it would make Florida more attractive to out-of-state insurers thinking about moving their headquarters.
The legislation is part of a broader lobbying campaign by the national bail bond industry to persuade states to change the way they calculate taxes on bail bond insurance. The Texas Legislature enacted a similar change last year.
The change would cost Florida taxpayers approximately $700,000 a year, according to state economists.
The House version of the tax cut (HB 939), which is scheduled for a hearing this morning in the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee, is being sponsored by Orlando Democratic Rep.Linda Stewart, a former Orange County commissioner. Stewart said the bill was brought to her by Accredited Surety President Deborah Jallad, whose family has long been active in Orange County politics.