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Tax Swap Plan Headed To November Ballot

March 17th, 2008 by flanews

In November, Floridians will have a chance to drastically change the state’s tax system. The Taxation and Budget Reform Commission approved a plan that would save property taxpayers eight billion dollars a year, but as Whitney Ray tells us it would leave lawmakers looking for ways to replace at least some of the money.

Hear it here: Tax Swap Plan Headed To November Ballot

Buying goods in Florida a year from now could cost more, while property taxes could go down. A plan, headed for November’s ballot and supported by Speaker of the House Marco Rubio, eliminates all school property taxes and replaces them with a one cent sales tax increase.

“Two years from now, if you pass something like this, you’re going to start to see positive economic indicators. That one cent will generate a lot more than it does right now.”

The amendment would change how Florida’s public Schools are funded. The plan would cut about eight billion dollars in property taxes a year, and replace it with less than half that amount with a sales tax increase. It would be up to lawmakers to decide how to raise the other four billion dollars. One idea is to eliminate hundreds of sales tax exemptions, like bottled water and dry cleaning. Budget cuts are also likely. State and county workers fear they’ll be part of those cuts.

“They keep raising health care, gasoline, food, everything rising that’s a fear, but no job at all after you put years of dedication into it, that’s a big fear,” said Linda Rued. Rued travel from Tampa to oppose the tax swap plan.

Commission member Les Miller said raising sales tax isn’t fair to low income families.

“It’s the every day things that you spend that not covered by tax exemptions, like medicines and food, that most people get hit by, and that’s the poor people the most,” said Miller.

The final decision will be left up to the people. The tax swap amendment will need approval by 60 percent of voters in November to pass.

Posted in Amendments, State Budget, State News, Taxes | 1 Comment »

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