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Taxpayer Bill of Rights Dies in Commission

April 14th, 2008 by flanews

After weeks of protest from county and city leaders a controversial plan to cap Government spending has failed. The Tax Payer Bill of Rights would have limited how much taxes could be raised, but as Whitney Ray tells us while the plan sounded good opponents say it would have ruined the economy.

A powerful commission has voted against a so called Taxpayer Bill of Rights, after opponents argued the plan would cut money for police, fire, roads and schools.

It sounds very nice TABOR, the problem is what it really can do to our state, said John Ratliff with SEIU Local 1991.

The Taxation and Budget Reform Commission meets every 20 years. Its made up of 25 appointed commissioners and has the authority to put tax issues on the November ballot. When opponents thought the vote would go against them, they attacked the commissioners. Opponents of the plan are furious commissioners, not elected lawmakers, have the final say.

This isnt about Florida; this is about the unelected millionaires. They dont care about anybody, but about their money and its disgusting, said Doug Martin, the communication director for AFSCME Florida Council 79.

Commissioner Mike Hogan sponsored the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Even the ones that are against it, they struggled with what they saw, how the government spent unrestrained, said Hogan.

Ultimately he wasnt able to convince enough commissioners to have his plan put on Novembers Ballot, which has local and even some state officials breathing easier. A similar plan was passed in Colorado in 1992. People there voted to postpone the plan after city and county officials complained about failing schools and deteriorating roads.

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