Department of Florida

Category Archives: Florida

Biketoberfest Daytona Event

The American Legion has joined forces with AbbVie Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company, to launch TAKE ON HEP C, a nationwide movement to bring free hepatitis C (hep C) testing to veterans and their communities. Taking center stage of the TAKE ON HEP C campaign is a 45-foot tour bus that is used as a mobile veteran outreach command center known as “The Legion One.” The bus offers free hep C testing, on-the-spot results and information for how to seek treatment, if needed.

This project also provides a great opportunity for local posts to staff a membership outreach tent setup with the bus. We provide the tent, you engage your community AND GROW YOUR MEMBERSHIP!

EVENT: Biketoberfest Daytona
DATE(S): Thursday, October 18 – Sunday, October 21
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday
LOCATION: 307 N Beach St • Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(Adjacent to Indian Motorcycle Daytona Beach)
REQUEST: Please send up to four (4) volunteers who can engage those attending the event. Share information about the benefits of being an American Legion member and encourage them to participate in the free hep C testing.

Volunteers should be scheduled in four-hour shifts. Duties include support with light set-up/tear down (tents, tables, chairs).

Free parking is available onsite. However, please plan ahead and allow extra travel time as parking is limited.

Staff shirts will be provided for all volunteers to wear upon check-in at the event. One shirt per person.

This is a casual, outdoor event so jeans or shorts of an appropriate length are recommended with Legion logo items and cap.

This annual Daytona Beach motorcycle rally draws more than 100,000 visitors. Bikers, motorcycle enthusiasts and curious travel seekers will enjoy beautiful fall weather, live music and more.
ABOUT HEP C: Testing for hep C is especially important for veterans, specifically those who served in the Vietnam conflict between 1964 and 1975. One out of every 20 veterans enrolled with the Veterans Health Administration has hep C, more than three times the infection rate of the general U.S. population.


Thank you in advance for your consideration in supporting this important effort. If you’d like to volunteer or have any questions, please contact Dave Baughman at 317-517-4161 or DBaughman@legion.org.


Fla. Stat. § 205.055

Fla. Stat. § 205.055

The Florida code and constitution are current through the 2018 Second Regular Session of the 25th Legislature.

LexisNexis® Florida Annotated Statutes  >  Title XIV. Taxation and Finance. (Chs. 192 — 221)  >  Chapter 205. Local Business Taxes. (§§ 205.013 — 205.1975)

§ 205.055. Exemptions; veterans, spouses of veterans and certain servicemembers, and low-income persons.

(1)  The following persons are entitled to an exemption from a business tax and any fees imposed under this chapter:

(a)  A veteran of the United States Armed Forces who was honorably discharged upon separation from service, or the spouse or unremarried surviving spouse of such a veteran.

(b)  The spouse of an active duty military servicemember who has relocated to the county or municipality pursuant to a permanent change of station order.

(c)  A person who is receiving public assistance as defined in s. 409.2554.

(d)  A person whose household income is below 130 percent of the federal poverty level based on the current year’s federal poverty guidelines.

(2)  A person must complete and sign, under penalty of perjury, a Request for Fee Exemption to be furnished by the local governing authority and provide written documentation in support of his or her request for an exemption under subsection (1).

(3)  If a person who is exempt under subsection (1) owns a majority interest in a business with fewer than 100 employees, the business is exempt. Such person must complete and sign, under penalty of perjury, a Request for Fee Exemption to be furnished by the local governing authority and provide written documentation in support of his or her request for an exemption for the business under this subsection.


  1. 24, ch. 2018-118, eff. July 1, 2018.

LexisNexis® Florida Annotated Statutes

Copyright © 2018 Matthew Bender & Company, Inc. a member of the LexisNexis Group. All rights reserved.


VOTE NO on Amendment (3)

Legionnaires: if possible please make signs to put out that state the following:

VOTE NO on Amendment (3)
It is not in the interest of Florida but in the interest of the Seminoles and Disney!!

Give Post members the signs to put in there yards or where traffic will be able to read and consider voting NO!!!

If your Post has a marque Please put up, Vote No on Amendment (3).

Here’s why:

Beginning in November Florida Residents will be voting on a number of Amendments. One of which will be Amendment # 3. Please read all of them and consider “Vote No “ on Amendment (3)

The November election isn’t just about electing officials . It’s also about survival of every
Legion, VFW, DAV and 501-3C in Florida. !! Your raffles , pull tabs , will be possibly be eliminated if this Amendment passes.

Amendment 3

Working together the Seminole Tribe and Walt Disney have raised over $25 million to put Amendment 3 on the ballot this November. Amendment 3 is called the “Voter Approval of Casino Gambling Initiative” and what is does is require a statewide voter initiative and the voter approval of any changes to Gaming in the state of Florida.

The ballot summary on your November ballot will read:

This amendment ensures that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gambling to be authorized under Florida law, it must be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Affects articles X and XI. Defines casino gambling and clarifies that this amendment does not conflict with federal law regarding state/tribal compacts

What the current advertising campaign fails to mention is that charitable gaming by the various fraternal organizations in Florida would also be affected. The ability to conduct instant bingo and raffles could be challenged as house banked games. It would also require any new gaming for fraternal organizations be put on a statewide ballot which has historically cost more than $10 Million (and would likely be opposed by both the tribe and Walt Disney).

While the name says “Voter Approval” it is really just creating a monopoly for the Seminole Tribe. This would give the Seminoles exclusive right because they already control all Casinos now and re grandfathered in already.


An urgent matter needs your help

Dear American Legion Family and Friends,

I had wanted my first email communication to you to be about Team 100 — my theme for this historic year as The American Legion transcends its first century of service into its next.

There will be plenty of opportunities in my year as national commander to discuss Team 100, pay tribute to the Legion’s century of accomplishments and celebrate our rise into the next 100 years.

But I learned of an urgent matter today that has a potentially significant impact on The American Legion and all its members. I am asking for your support.

The United States Postal Service has proposed a rule that would prevent The American Legion (and other nonprofits) from sending merchandise or goods like calendars, stickers, etc. in nonprofit marketing mail. Instead, the USPS would classify these mailings as first-class mail.

This is not a simple change in the category of how mail is sent. This change would eliminate the use of premiums in nonprofit fundraising mail — and would increase The American Legion’s mailing cost by 200 percent.

That significant increase would critically impact our programs dedicated to helping and advocating for veterans, mentoring children, assisting transitioning servicemembers, providing scholarships for students, comforting the afflicted throughout every community in our great nation.

We must quickly work together to let the USPS know this proposal is unreasonable. My team has prepared a sample templated letter. I encourage you to download the template, personalize it with your information and email it to the USPS (ProductClassification@usps.gov) with the subject line: USPS Marketing Mail Content Eligibility.

Please don’t delay. This is an urgent matter and the letters must be emailed no later than Friday, Sept. 14.

Thank you for your assistance, and for what you do every day on behalf of our nation’s veterans, servicemembers and their families.


Brett Reistad
National Commander

Vets Invade the Canyon

The American Legion will be celebrating its 100th year of service to our Veterans, Communities and Nation in the coming year. As such, Legion Posts’ throughout our “Great Nation” will be hosting a variety of events in honor of this centennial milestone.

The State of Florida is planning a two-day Concert Birthday Celebration, hosted by American Legion Post #155 of Crystal River, Florida and supported by fellow Legion Posts 237, 166, and 77. This event is known as “Vets Invade the Canyon” and is scheduled to take place January 18th and 19th, 2019. There will be two shows, one on Friday night (January 18th) and one on Saturday night (January 19th). Each night of the event will have two feature acts with a short ceremony between each act paying tribute to our Veterans.

The proceeds from the “Vets Invade the Canyon” Concert Birthday Celebration will be donated to the Florida American Legion Program called “PROJECT: VETRELIEF”, which is a 501c3 charitable organization. The mission of “PROJECT: VETRELIEF” is to provide support for our service men and women as they transition into civilian life, with the vision of one day to live in a nation where no service member stands alone. All funds raised from this event are slated for Veterans of Florida. The American Legion of Florida supports Florida’s service members whether they are active duty, newly returned, or have been honorably separated for years, in addition to their immediate family, at no cost.

Should you have any questions regarding the “Vets Invade the Canyon” Concert Birthday Celebration or PROJECT: VETRELIEF please contact Gerry Kaufman at (407) 218-9139, Doug Hockenberry at (727) 514-3742 or me directly at (352) 212-8750.

Larry White
Finance Officer
American Legion Post 155

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Packing Event at Post 273

“Tampa Bay Troop Support held another packing event at Post 273, and will be able to ship 210 boxes to our troops overseas!

Thank you Dave & Sharon Dabney. Their purpose is to make a difference in the lives of our Soldiers by sending care packages to different units in different places. We want them to know that they are in our thoughts, and we appreciate everything they do.

Thank you also to all the volunteers who helped out, and to Commander White and our Post 273 Auxiliary.”

Submitted by:
Anthony Torregrossa
2nd Vice Commander, Post 273


Post 273 Presents $15,000 Donation to Fisher House

Commander Jim White(right) presents a $15,000 donation to Shentrela Diggins, manager of Fisher House at the Bay Pines V.A. on behalf of the Post 273 Legion, SAL & Auxiliary. Also pictured are Executive Officer Dick Karol(left) who led this year’s fundraising drive, and Finance Officer Dick Gifford(center). Post 273 has now donated a total of $50,000 to our local Fisher House at Bay Pines in the past three years.

Fisher Houses are onsite residences where military & veterans families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital. They have private bedrooms and baths, and families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room.

Submitted by:
Anthony Torregrossa
2nd Vice Commander


Gov. Scott Announces 2018 Florida Military-Friendly Guide

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the release of the 2018 Florida Military-Friendly Guide. The annual guide, created by the Florida Defense Support Task Force, offers a summary of Florida’s laws, programs and services benefitting military service members and their families. It also highlights Florida’s low tax and financial advantages, educational benefits, professional licensure opportunities and fee waivers for service men, women and their families stationed in Florida. A digital copy of the 2018 Florida Military-Friendly Guide is available HERE.

Governor Scott said, “As a proud Navy veteran, and the son of a World War II veteran, I want to make sure our military and their families have access to the services they need. Florida is the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation, and since I took office, we’ve invested hundreds of millions in funding for services and benefits for our military and veterans. Our Florida Military-Friendly Guide is another great resource for our military members to learn more about these great benefits and everything Florida has to offer to those who serve.”

Florida is home to more than 1.5 million veterans, 20 major military installations and three unified commands. Since 2011, under the leadership of Governor Scott, Florida has invested hundreds of millions in funding to support active military, veterans and their families – including more than $180 million in this year’s budget. Governor Scott’s focus on serving those that serve our nation has also helped drive down the unemployment rate for veterans in Florida to a low 2.9 percent – nearly an entire percent lower than the national average and a decrease of more than six percent since 2010. To foster enhanced cooperation between state agencies and Florida’s military installations, Governor Scott holds regular meetings with Florida’s base commanders and heads of state agencies.

Representative Jay Trumbull of Panama City, Chair of the Florida Defense Support Task Force, said, “The Florida Military-Friendly Guide is a great resource for military service men, women and their families in the Sunshine State. Enterprise Florida and the Florida Defense Support Task Force will continue to support military members and their families, and work to maintain Florida’s status as the most military-friendly state in the nation.”

The defense industry provides an annual economic impact of $84.9 billion and accounts for more than 801,000 jobs in Florida. Defense continues to be the fourth largest contributor to the state economy behind agriculture and tourism. The Florida Military-Friendly Guide is distributed annually to Florida’s military bases and defense communities.


Governor Signs 2018 Florida Purple Heart Day Proclamation

Gov. Rick Scott has signed the annual Florida Purple Heart Day Proclamation. The governor calls upon Floridians to pay special tribute to those members of the Armed Forces who have received the Purple Heart, while also honoring the families of the fallen.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 is Florida Purple Heart Day.

Click here to print proclamation.


2018 Freedom Raffle Winners Announced

We are pleased to announce the WINNERS of the 2018 Freedom Raffle as follows:


  • Grand Prize winner of $10,000 – Frank Klimekoski
  • 2nd Place winner of $2,500 – Jose Cintron
  • 3rd Place winner of $1,000 – James Allbrook
  • 4th – 5th Place winners of $500 – William Coopy, Barry Murante
  • 6th – 10th Place winners of $100 – David LeRoy, James Handly, John McCoy, William Walz, Steven Pommer


All recipients will be notified within the coming week by The American Legion, Department of Florida.
To watch the live footage of the drawing, click here. The Raffle is featured at the 6:00:36 time mark.