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News & Knowledge

Florida Commercial Lease Sales Tax Rate Further Reduced

March 26, 2018

By: Matthew R. O'Kane and Joaquin E. Martinez

Effective January 1, 2019, the State of Florida’s sales tax rate on rental payments for the lease of commercial real property will be reduced from 5.8% to 5.7% for rental payments received for occupancy periods beginning on or after January 1, 2019.  This will be second reduction in the last two years.

Note that the sales tax reduction does not affect the local discretionary sales surtax imposed by many Florida counties. The combined sales tax and discretionary sales surtax rate for certain Florida counties for 2018 and 2019 are listed below:

Brevard County6.8%6.7%
Hillsborough County6.8%8.2%
Lake County6.8%6.7%
Orange County6.3%6.2%
Osceola County7.3%7.2%
Pinellas County6.8%6.7%
Polk County6.8%6.7%
Seminole County6.8%6.7%
Volusia County6.3%6.2%

For more information, contact the Tax Group or the Commercial Leasing Group at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed P.A.


Being the third generation in his family to be named Joaquin, his parents distinguished him from his father and grandfather by calling him Quino (pronounced “key-no”). Having his name constantly mispronounced doesn’t bother Quino. His clients get it right, and even more significantly, they respect that he gets their business right. No trite statements here; just the facts: Quino cares deeply about his clients, their businesses, and their families.

His clients include public and private real estate investors, developers, property management companies, brokerage firms, and, from time to time, non-profits. Quino has represented these entities in the acquisition, financing, development and disposition of multifamily developments, industrial properties, office buildings, shopping centers, restaurants, hotels, golf courses and other resort related developments, retirement communities and vacant land. He has also represented national lending institutions in connection with commercial loan transactions, workouts and loan restructuring.

Whether focusing on commercial leasingreal estate investment and development or financing, Quino takes “ownership” of his clients’ transactions. Described by his clients as a deal-maker, Quino and his team work hard to ensure that their deals close in a timely manner and that their clients’ objectives are met. Qualities honed by his Jesuit education – integrity, initiative in service of others, patience, persistence and excellent communication – have endeared him to clients and colleagues alike. Those same traits afforded him leadership roles with the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia, the City of Orlando Board of Zoning Adjustment and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando. He also initiated a community partnership and sustained mentoring program between Lowndes and the FAMU College of Law.

Licensed to practice law in Florida, Georgia, and Texas, Quino is proud to be connected to each of those states (but particularly the Lone Star State), and routinely assists clients in matters in each locale. Mostly, he is proud of his deep relationships with his clients and colleagues – who have no trouble pronouncing his name.


Matt O’Kane has a broad background in federal tax, Florida state tax, estate planning and U.S. taxation of foreign investors. He counsels clients on a broad range of federal tax issues and business planning issues from entity selection and formation to dissolutions. He advises clients on Florida state tax issues and represents clients in controversies involving the Florida Department of Revenue. He has lectured on Florida sales tax, documentary stamp tax and intangible tax. He also counsels clients on a broad range of wealth transfer issues including estates, gift and generation skipping transfer tax planning, irrevocable trust planning, charitable planning, and family limited partnerships. He also advises nonresident clients with regard to their U.S. investments.

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