State Legislature Supports Florida Citrus

Josh McGillFlorida, Legislative

Landon Hoffman

Landon Hoffman, director of government affairs for Florida Citrus Mutual, recently provided a recap of Florida legislative actions impacting the citrus industry:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state budget, which goes into effect on July 1. This year’s budget included more than $65 million to support Florida citrus, the highlight being more than $30 million for the CRAFT (Citrus Research and Field Trial) program. Here’s a summary of what’s included in the state’s 2023–24 budget for the citrus industry:

  • Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) Research Funding and CRAFT, $8 million
  • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Citrus Inspection Trust Fund, $4 million
  • Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) New Variety Program, $1.65 million
  • FDOC Marketing, $10 million
  • Citrus Health Response Program, $6.4 million
  • Plant Material Propagation and Budwood Expansion (FDOC and FDACS), $2 million
  • Citrus Research, $30 million
  • Construct Citrus Budwood Greenhouse, $1 million
  • Citrus Recovery Program (FDOC), $2 million
  • Grand Total: $65.05 million

Along with these key budget items, the governor also approved legislation on May 25 to support the agricultural industry as a whole. Priorities include:

  • SB 1164 creates the Farm TEAM (tax exempt agricultural materials) card, which streamlines tax exemptions on all agricultural materials.
  • SB 7062, Taxation, by Senate Appropriations; Finance and Tax and HB 7063 by House Ways and Means Committee – This tax package includes language on special assessments on agricultural lands and non-residential agricultural buildings.
  • SB 264, Interest of Foreign Countries and HB 1355 – As a result of this legislation, businesses and their subsidiaries that are operated primarily in a foreign country of concern, as well as individuals from these countries who are unlawfully residing here, are prohibited from purchasing agricultural land.

Source: Florida Citrus Mutual

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