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Lawmakers Could Pass Taxes to Balance the Budget

December 18th, 2008 by flanews

Lawmakers are scrambling to reach an agreement on how to balance the budget as the countdown to a special session continues. Governor Charlie Crist says he wants programs that help the states most vulnerable protected from the budget ax. As Whitney Ray tells us, lawmakers may have to pass new taxes to keep those programs off the chopping block.

Hear it Here: Lawmakers Could Pass Taxes to Balance the Budget

As declining tourism, home sales, and consumer spending deepen the states budget hole, lawmakers are looking for ways to make up the lost revenue.

This legislator personally is willing to look at every option possible, said Republican Senator Victor Crist.

Weve got to look at all our options. We have to explore everything and we have to have the political courage to go where we havent been willing to go before, said Democratic Minority Leader Franklin Sands.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers are using similar language, but there doesnt seem to be a clear path to fill the two billion dollar void. Lawmakers are already looking for places to reduce government spending, but this time budget cuts may not do the trick.

Governor Charlie Crist says lawmakers need to keep programs that help the states most vulnerable off the chopping block. He also sent a signal taxes could be part of the discussion.

Im not going to stand in the way today of what the members of the house or senate want to discuss, whether its in the special session or the regular session. These are challenging economic times, said Crist.

Lawmakers could vote to close tax loopholes like those on bottled water and dry-cleaning; further spending cuts could drastically change education, police protection and health care programs.

Lawmakers are being called back to Tallahassee on January 5th. Legislative leaders hope to already have a plan to balance the budget when they reconvene in order to keep the 40,000 dollar a day session short.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Children, Criminal Justice, Economy, Education, Health, Housing, Legislature, State Budget, State News, Taxes | No Comments »

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