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Miami Beach Lawmaker Wants Tax Break On Artwork

Alicia Zuckerman

A lawmaker from the city that hosts Art Basel Miami Beach says a tax break on art work would help stimulate the economy statewide. 

State representative David Richardson of Miami Beach just filed a bill that would exempt works of art from the state's sales tax. 

To qualify, the artwork would have to be original, as well as signed and sold by the artists. It would have to cost at least $1,000.

Richardson says said the measure is important because artwork in Florida is under a double-taxation:

“When you have original works of art that are bought at a certain level they really become assets that can be sold in the future for increasing value," says Richardson. "And when that happens the owner would pay a capital gains tax. And then the second reason is that I think it would help to stimulate arts sales throughout our state."
Richardson filed a similar proposal during the last legislative session, but it never got heard. He says the revised bill estimates the annual economic impact for Florida would be around $4 million.

The measure would apply to works such as paintings, sculptures, etchings, pottery and ceramics. But sales of literature, music and photographs are not included in the tax break.