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Tax Swap Follow

April 25th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

The ink is barely dry on a proposal to swap a portion of your property taxes for a higher sales and other taxes. Groups are already talking about campaigns  supporting or opposing the idea. Voters will make the final decision this November, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, they may tired of hearing about it by the time election day rolls around.

About 25 cents of every dollar you pay in property taxes goes to schools. A powerful commission wants you to vote to swap those taxes for a higher sales taxes and maybe a services tax. A 1987 services tax was national news and saw boycotts of the state.

The tax lasted just six months. Florida Broadcasters will likely lead the revolt this time as well.

“‘87, there was a revolt once people realized it was on the books,” Pat Roberts with FBA said. “But we’re not going to let this go on the books.”

Dan Wolfe and his family were visiting the Capitol from Jacksonville. We asked about the swap.

“Consumables and those kinds of things would increase as well,” Wolfe, a medical equipment dealer, said. “So I think I would prefer to stay with what I had.”

Realtors were able to make sure home sales wouldn’t be taxed in the swap. They will lead the effort to pass it.

“We proved again with Amendment One, that we can rally the troops,” John Sebree with the FL Association of Realtors said.  “We’ll work harder than anybody. We’ll out work them all.”

If the swap passes, lawmakers will have to decide which taxes to raise or create by 2010. Mike Haridopolus expects to be Senate President.

“The numbers do not add up,” Haridopolus said. “It’s a bait-and-switch that will cost the voters big time.”

“Supporters believe the swap will be an economic stimulus and the extra money will fill the hole in the budget.”

But in the short run, the biggest economic stimulus might be the multi million dollar campaigns for and against the swap.

The governor is yet to weigh in on the full tax swap package.

Posted in Amendments, Business, Legislature, Property Taxes, State Budget, State News, Taxes | No Comments »

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