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Voters Approve Tax Break, Commission Looks at More Tax Reform

January 30th, 2008 by flanews

Voters decided to lower property tax, and now members of the Taxation and Budget Commission are scrambling to reform the tax system. An estimated 9 billion dollars will be cut from the budget. As Whitney Ray tells us, city and county managers across Florida will have to decide where to make budget cuts.

Hear it here: Voters Approve Tax Break, Commission Looks at More Tax Reform

After Tuesdays vote, fears remain. Revenue will fall, and city and county workers could pay the price.

Some of these counties are going to have some real hard choices to make, said Cragin Mosteller, a spokesperson with the Association of Counties.

The Association of Counties, along with mayors, emergency workers, and teachers, opposed amendment one. The opposition only swayed voters in 11 counties, most of them in the panhandle. Now all of Floridas 67 counties will have to cut corners.

In some counties services will be cut. Perhaps theyre only quality of life services, which is unfortunate because thats what makes our lives easy and great. For some it will be harder choices and theyll have to make some harder decisions, said Mosteller.

Members of Floridas Professional Firefighters and The Police Chiefs Association refused an on camera interview. Florida Education Association spokesperson Mark Pudlow wasnt too embarrassed to voice his disappointment.

It may be that programs go away in schools, said Pudlow. It may be that there are other changes. It could be that there are layoffs.

The real price tag of what voters approved, which will determine how deep cuts maybe, wont be known for months. The Taxation and Budget Reform Commission met to discuss tax reform. Members of the committee are looking at ways to make a fairer tax system. One recommendation is to take away some of Floridas hundreds of tax exemptions.

There are exemptions that may have been there 10, 15, 20 years that may have been good public policy when enacted, that simply dont meet the needs of the state today, said member Martha Barnett.

The Taxation and Budget Reform Commissions report is due in May.

Posted in Amendments, Charlie Crist, Elections, Politics, Property Taxes, State Budget, State News, Voting | No Comments »

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