By Kathy L. Collins

State Representative Ross Spano represents Riverview, Brandon and some of Valrico. Spano grew up in the Brandon area and is committed to his constituents. He strives to make certain that his constituents are informed of what is going on in the legislature and that they have access to him and his office. It is for these reasons that he holds quarterly meetings of the Small Business Roundtable. Anyone who lives or works in the area is invited to attend and give their input.

The most recent meeting of the Small Business Roundtable was held in May at Hillsborough Community College at The Regent in Riverview. The topic was Florida’s Small Business Environment.
Growing up, Spano saw first-hand the struggles that small businesses deal with every day. He deals with it himself running a law practice in the area.

“When I got elected, I promised that I would regularly meet with small business owners and give them the opportunity to give voice and have my ear,” said Spano.

Issues discussed at the May meeting included The Department of Labor’s new ruling on overtime pay for salaried employees; a balanced budget was passed; per student funding was increased, and school choice was expanded; all existing Department of Transportation projects were fully funded; funding was designated for universities that can demonstrate that their students are becoming employed, essentially making certain that universities are accountable for claims they make; funding was provided to hire 215 corrections officers mostly in South Florida; and funding was designated for natural resources such as the Florida Everglades.

The legislature put $3 billion dollars in reserves so that if there is ever a downturn in the economy, the state will be able to meet its budget demands. “I am pretty proud of this,” said Spano who noted that no other state has done this.

Sales tax for manufacturing equipment was permanently eliminated. Real property taxes were reduced. If you own a home, you should see approximately $54 in savings on your tax bill.
There will be a three day Back to School Tax Holiday in August.

Attendees were able to ask questions on issues that affected them. Be on the lookout for the next Small Business Roundtable to take place in August or September. Follow Representative Ross Spano on Facebook or contact his local office at 744-6256.

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