Window manufacturer originates idea in Florida Legislature to offer tax holiday on Hurricane resident windows and doors

Apr 6, 2019

Window manufacturer originates idea in Florida Legislature to offer tax holiday on Hurricane resident windows and doors

There is no question that certified hurricane resistant doors and windows help defend Florida homes during hurricanes and tropical storms.  Just ask homeowners who went through Hurricanes Irma and Michael.  It really makes a difference in storm-hardening a home.

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New tax break for hurricane preparedness proposed

Jason Garcia | 3/27/2019, Florida Trend

Urged on by a large manufacturer, the Florida Legislature is considering a new tax break this spring designed to spur more sales of hurricane-strength windows and doors. 

Under the proposal, lawmakers would add “impact-resistant” windows and doors to an annual sales-tax holiday for hurricane-preparedness supplies such as batteries, tarps and generators. 

The idea comes from PGT Innovations, which controls about 65 percent of the impact-resistant window and door market in Florida. The North Venice-based manufacturer booked a record $600 million worth of sales in Florida last year – boosted in part by heightened interest in hurricane-strength products after Hurricane Irma, which affected much of the state in late 2017. 

Representatives for PGT Innovations pitched the idea to state Sen. Joe Gruters, a Sarasota Republican whose district includes the company’s headquarters and its main plant. Gruters agreed to sponsor the measure, which is included in two bills so far (SB 1112 and SB 1412). 

Gruters says the goal is to both help homeowners who want to better protect themselves against hurricanes and to goose sales at the largest private employer in his district. PGT Innovations has roughly 3,000 employees company-wide and large factories in North Venice, Orlando and Hialeah.  

“I hope we can continue to get additional business to help this company thrive,” says Gruters, who is also the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

Legislative economists have yet to determine how much the sales-tax exemption would reduce state revenues. The legislation limits the tax break to windows sold in units of 20 or less and doors sold in units of 10 or less, and only to purchases made by residential property owners who plan to install them in their own homes.

Despite its commanding market share, PGT Innovations still sees lots of growth potential in Florida. The company says only about 18 percent of Florida homes have impact-resistant windows and just 13 percent have impact-resistant doors. 

Representatives for the company declined to comment on the legislation. PGT Innovations, which also has operations in some western states following a recent acquisition, turned a $54 million profit last year on revenues of $698 million. 

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