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Open letter to Florida Legislature: Do not repeal ad tax exemption

I wrote the following letter to Representative Michael Scionti, encouraging him and his colleagues to keep the tax exemption for advertising services.  While it could appear to be a simple case of self-preservation, I honestly believe that this would be detrimental to Florida businesses. If you agree, write a letter. If you disagree, well… don’t.

 Representative Scionti,

 As the owner and president of a Florida marketing agency, I am writing to respectfully request that you do not repeal the tax exemption language defining “certain advertising services” in Florida Statutes Section 212.08(7)(vv).

 Even in the current economic environment, Pinstripe is still experiencing growth, creating jobs and buying products and services in our community.  By repealing this language, it would put me and all Florida agencies at a competitive disadvantage. We live in an electronic age, and our clients can very easily select an agency from anywhere in the country or the world, and receive the same quality services.

 My clients are not in a position to increase their marketing budgets, therefore the amount available to spend on the cost of goods and services will only decrease by 7% to cover the additional costs, if I am able to retain the account at all. With 7% less marketing, they will experience fewer sales, resulting in fewer jobs, and ultimately less tax revenue for the state.

 It is important to note that we continue to collect and pay sales tax for printed materials, promotional items, trade show signage, direct marketing materials and other tangible goods. If we lose these clients, then the tax revenue for the hard items will also be lost.

 Advertising fuels Florida’s economy and is a legitimate and important element of doing business. Like legal services, accounting services, architectural services, engineering services, and other professional services, advertising and marketing services should continue to be exempt from sales tax.

 I welcome a conversation with you to discuss the issue and illustrate the irreparable damage the repealment of this language could do to my agency, my family, and the families of my employees.

Best regards,

Ginger Reichl
President, Pinstripe Marketing

Tampa Bay public relations