A ‘Marriage’ of Items of Interest for Florida’s Individuals, Families, and Businesses

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Something old: Last week’s article focused on the Florida/Georgia water dispute (not the recent football game..) before the U.S. Supreme Court sitting in its constitutional ‘original jurisdiction’ capacity. 1

Married couple showing off wedding rings.

Last Thursday the two states argued concerning their respective rights to use water flowing from Georgia through Florida to the Gulf of Mexico. A brief summary of the principal case issue follows:

Georgia’s southern neighbor is asking the court to freeze Georgia’s water usage at current levels in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin to 2050 and approve even tighter controls during droughts. The basin begins northeast of Lake Lanier and flows southwest past Atlanta into the Gulf of Mexico in Florida’s Panhandle. 2

Further:

The Supreme Court’s eventual ruling is expected to be precedent-setting on several fronts. It could impact several ongoing water cases Georgia, Florida and Alabama have in lower-level courts…Water experts say the case could also be a model for future water rights battles east of the Mississippi River at a time when scientists warn climate change will increase and worsen droughts. 3

Something new: On October 30th the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee lowered “the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent”. 4 The impact of the ‘Fed’s’ decision is that the federal funds rate underlie lending and rate-of-return interest rates offered to consumers and businesses. click the link for the FOMC’s full statement about its ¼ percent rate decrease. It is important, particularly for businesses, to stay attuned to interest rate movements as an aide to managing their short-term and long-term cash-flows, borrowing needs, and investments. follow the link to subscribe to the Atlanta ‘Fed’s’ free publications.  (The writer of this series subscribes to a number of those resources.)

Something borrowed: This series has reported on the specific sales tax applied to commercial real estate leases. 5 This time reference is made to a recent article from James Moore & Co., a Florida regional accounting and consulting firm:

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, Florida’s state sales tax on the total commercial rent charged for renting, letting, or granting a license to use real property will decrease to 5.5%, the latest in a series of reductions over the last few years. 6

The rule regarding timing of the decreased sales tax are complex regarding when it can be applied and when it is inapplicable. Be sure to read the article referenced in footnote 6 for details.

On October 30th the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee lowered “the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent.”

Sorry…Nothing blue!

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1 See https://www.boginmunns.com/florida-georgia-water-case-keeps-going/
2 See https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional/florida-asks-court-cap-much-georgia-water-use-current-level/GXO4v0gUvVWeYDr7fXvT2L/. Be sure to see the following for detailed facts about the case: https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional/your-cheat-sheet-the-georgia-florida-water-wars/Dn75ry92znaZiaVEN1TrhI/.
3 Ibid.
4 https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20191030a.htm
5 See https://www.boginmunns.com/two-2019-state-local-tax-matters-florida-businesses/
6 See “Florida Sales Tax Decrease: Important News on Commercial Rent!” by Nadia Batey, CPA: https://www.jmco.com/commercial-rent-tax-decrease/

– For more information, call Philip N. Kabler of the Gainesville, FL office of Bogin, Munns & Munns at 352.332.7688, where he practices in the areas of business, banking, real estate, and equine law. He has taught business and real estate law courses at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business Administration and Levin College of Law and is the President-Elect of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association.

NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.

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