Even though he went to Tallahassee to fight its repeal, Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca does not appear to pay the required local business tax. According to the Broward County website, “Local Business Tax (formerly known as Occupational License) is required of any individual or entity choosing to engage in or manage any business, profession or occupation in Broward County, unless specifically exempted.” Commissioner LaMarca is the owner of LaMarca Construction Corp of Lighthouse Point. According to Chip LaMarca’s LinkedIn page, LaMarca Construction Corp has 11-50 employees.
Yet, LaMarca Construction Corp. is not listed on Broward County tax rolls. Some contractors may be exempt from the Broward County tax if they show certification from their home county. This exemption does not appear to apply to LaMarca Construction Corp. The City of Lighthouse Point is located in Broward County.
Since his company is located in Lighthouse Point, LaMarca would need to pay additional taxes to that city. But as of July 2014, the City of Lighthouse Point shows no tax revenue coming from LaMarca Construction Corp.
Last week, RED BROWARD reported LaMarca fought the repeal of the Local Business Tax (LBT) which funds the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, a group of “top leaders in Broward County who are involved include business, government, academia and community leaders.” LaMarca serves as a member of the Alliance’s executive committee along with bank executives, law firm partners and even the chairman of Florida Power and Light (FPL).
Formerly known as an “occupational license,” the local business tax hurts the formation of small businesses.
In 2012, Florida lawmakers sought the repeal of the local business tax. In order to stop the legislation, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance dispatched Chip LaMarca to Tallahassee. In an article for The Light magazine, LaMarca said, “I asked the committee to reevaluate pending legislation, Florida House Bill 319, intended to repeal the local business tax…. If the LBT is repealed, Broward will lose approximately $3 million per year that is currently reinvested back into the community for economic development programs that create and retain jobs right here in our community.”
So, Commissioner Chip LaMarca went to Tallahassee to keep the public money flowing to his downtown Fort Lauderdale cronies but he could not pay his own small share to “create and retain jobs right here in our community?”