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While New Taxes Are Off Limits, Fees Are another Story

May 1st, 2008 by flanews

The price you pay for toll roads, boat registration, and higher education will go up. Lawmakers who swore not to raise general taxes didnt, but as Whitney Ray told us they raised fees.

It will soon cost a few more coins to use some of Floridas toll roads. Lawmakers burdened with the task of slicing more than 3 billion dollars from the state budget passed dozens of fees to help make up the shortfall.

You have a direct relationship between what youre funding and the fees that go to that, sometimes its the most direct and accountable way of doing that, said Kurt Wenner of Florida Tax Watch.

Boat registrations will increaseup to 70 dollars for the biggest boats. So will the price of most court filings. Lawmakers say they had to raise court fees to save the states justice system from drastic cuts

Were trying to find a balance, and I think a lot of us are a lot more comfortable with user fees than we would be with the idea of having higher taxes, said Senator Mike Haridopolos.

Students will have to help shoulder the burden, tuition is one of the fees being raised. Lawmakers hope a tuition hike will help the State University system, which already plans to take on fewer students than a year ago. Governor Charlie Crist says hes ready to be held accountable, when registering his boat.

Well that means Ill have to pay more. I use it, so I should, said Crist.

While the tide may be low when it comes to the budget, lawmakers hope fees will bring the flood needed to keep some programs afloat. Some of the fees come with a mandated increase at the rate of inflation after five years.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Legislature, State Budget, State News, Taxes | No Comments »

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