Florida: Hunter Harassment and Hunting and Fishing Supplies Sales Tax Holiday Legislation Pre-filed

Contact: John Culclasure, Southeastern States Assistant Director

On November 25, Florida Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Representative Tommy Gregory pre-filed legislation that would increase harassment protections for sportsmen and women and create a sales tax holiday for hunting and fishing supplies.

Specifically, House Bill 777 would augment the statute prohibiting harassment of hunters, anglers and trappers by extending protections to prohibit harassment on public lands and public waters.

The legislation would also establish an outdoor sporting goods tax holiday on September 5, 2020 for firearms, ammunition and fishing supplies. A sales tax holiday on hunting and fishing supplies could encourage additional participation while also benefiting conservation programs through increased sales of firearms, ammunition, fishing tackle and other goods that are subject to federal excise taxes. In 2018 alone, through the “user-pays, public-benefits” structure known as the American System of Conservation Funding, Florida’s sportsmen and women contributed $70.48 million to conservation funding generated through excise taxes on sporting-related goods and the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.

Additionally, the legislation would add green iguana (Iguana iguana) and black and white tegu (Salvator merianae) to the list of exotic invasive species prohibited for possession, importation, sale, barter, trade, or breeding.

Florida’s 3,152,000 sportsmen and women support more than 94,800 jobs in the state and contribute more than $10.3 billion to the state’s economy.

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Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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