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Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

February 6th, 2009 by flanews

Lawmakers will consider raising the cigarette tax, temporarily increasing the sales tax by a penny, and collecting taxes already owed on internet purchases. As Whitney Ray tells us, lawmakers are weighing their options to find ways to balance a potential four billion dollar shortfall in the state budget.

Hear it Here: Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

With the state staring at a third straight year of dwindling revenues, lawmakers will consider a temporary one cent sales tax increase. Lawmakers are also looking at a higher cigarette tax.

The Federal cigarette tax is already slated to go up 61 cents, which could make the state increase a harder sell. Collecting taxes on internet sales already owed could raise billions for the budget. Florida TaxWatch said the state is missing out.

Its fiscally and economically detrimental to the state. Fiscally, because its billions owed on the sales tax thats not being collected; economically because when people buy online from out-of-state retailers, it hurts local retailers, said Rob Weissert a spokesman Florida TaxWatch.

Jogger James Johnson says now is not the time to put an extra burden on taxpayers.

People are having a hard time paying they bills and its hard for people to get back on they feet right now, said James.

But more spending cuts may not be enough to balance the budget, and that has the Republican leadership looking at their options.

Im going to ask the tax and finance committee to evaluate each and every item that has been suggested and vetted thoroughly, said incoming House Speaker Larry Cretul.

Even if the legislature passes new taxes, the increases will have to get past the governor who has been opposing new taxes since he took office. Closing tax loopholes like those on bottled water, dry cleaning, and skyboxes could also be on the table in March.

Posted in Business, Charlie Crist, Children, Economy, Education, Legislature, State Budget, State News, Taxes, Unemployment | No Comments »

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