Water use incentives and disincentives

The tax legislation just passed by the Florida Legislature (HB-33A) provides an incentive for using more water. The law creates a permanent sales tax exemption for farm irrigation equipment (while continuing to impose a full sales tax on water efficient devices, like certified WaterSense products):

 

Exempting farm irrigation equipment from the state sales tax, while keeping it for water-efficient devices, is-kinda bonkers.

Comments

Water use incentives and disincentives — 3 Comments

  1. Good Morning Tom,

    I’m not sure the legislation just passed concerning sales tax exemption for ag irrigation creates an incentive for using more water….In fact, I would think it could have the opposite affect. Let’s say that $5 million a year goes into irrigation retrofits for ag. If those retrofits are tax exempt we could put back into the system $350,000 (7% saving - I’m in Highlands Co.). We could take that $350,000 and use it to bring other farmers into today’s technology filled world (i.e. on-site weather stations, soil moisture probes, Precision Ag./Veritable Rate Technology/Tree Eye sensors for fertilizer and spraying (saving water and chemicals used), etc.

    And to your other point, certified “WaterSense” products, let’s do it! I had never heard of them until I read your blog today; so communicate, educate and lobby for the addition of “WaterSense” products to be added next year.

    Have a good one!

    Pam

    • Interesting comment. It seems to me that, if irrigation is more costly, there would be less of it. If it is cheaper, there would be more of it. Efficiency measures could happen on either side of that cost equation because it is a significant business expense.