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Advocacy Groups Want Taxes on the Table

January 7th, 2009 by flanews

A coalition of education, health care, and labor representatives are calling on the governor and lawmakers to start considering new taxes and fees. While some Democratic lawmakers are supporting the plan, as Whitney Ray tells us, Republican lawmakers say any tax decisions should be put off until March.

Hear it Here: Advocacy Groups Want Taxes on the Table

Lawmakers are considering major spending cuts to health care and education to fill the states 2.3 billion dollar budget deficit. Advocacy groups joined at the capitol Wednesday to express their outrage at the proposed cuts.

With millions of Floridians seeing the vital services they deserve and relying on dissolving the only solution the legislature is willing to offer is still more cuts, said Florida AFL-CIO spokesman Rich Templin.

The Coalition for Fair and Comprehensive Tax Reform say its time to stop cutting.

The coalition is asking lawmakers to extend special session and look for new sources of revenue.

Eliminating tax exemptions on bottled water would generate 42 million dollars annually. Cutting subsidies the state pays to sports teams would save 24 million. Democratic lawmakers say its time to start closing tax loopholes.

Lets take a look at those things. Nothing should be off the table. There are 23.5 billion dollars in exemptions. We need to take a look at them, said Democratic Senator Joe Gibbons.

But Republican lawmakers say now is not the time to start reforming the states tax system.

We shouldnt be rushing a tax increase if were going to have any at all. It should be deliberative, it should be transparent, it should allow people to come testify, said Republican Representative Mike Fasano.

Whether to pass new taxes or make deeper spending cuts will be a debate that will likely continue until the special session ends.

Posted in Economy, Education, Health, State Budget, State News, Taxes | No Comments »

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