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The Cost of Tax Cuts

March 11th, 2009 by flanews

Florida schools face a billion dollar loss next year because of falling property values, but that isnt stopping some lawmakers from suggesting more property tax cuts. Republican lawmakers say Floridians should be allowed to keep more of their own money, but as Whitney Ray tells us, cutting taxes could come at the expense of seniors, students, and first responders.

Teachers, firemen and police officers depend on your tax dollars to provide education and protection. The core services have already been reduced because of dwindling sales and property tax revenues. Governor Charlie Crist is supporting legislation that could cut revenue even further.

When property taxes dont go down theres less money in the pockets of Florida families, said Crist.

Representative David Rivera is pushing a constitutional amendment to cap property taxes at 1.35 percent of a homes value.

We need to create jobs. We need to put money back in taxpayers pockets. Thats exactly what this proposal does, said Rivera.

After state economists read the economic tea leaves later this week, Florida could see five billion dollar budget shortfall. The shrinking budget is causing distress among educators.

Next week a group of a thousand parents and teachers will be here at the capitol to rally against further spending cuts to education. Advocates for children and seniors say the vulnerable will pay the price of more tax cuts.

I dont think thats what a majority of Floridians want for their children, for their grandparents, for their parents and the future of the state of Florida, said Child Advocate Karen Woodall.

Another plan to cap government spending, known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, is being pushed through the Senate. Floridas Chief Financial Officer called the plan Dangerous.

Another property tax cutting plan facing less opposition would provide property tax cuts to first time home buyers. The Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Home Builders Association are supporting the legislation. The groups say the plan would help absorb the 300-hundred thousand empty houses currently on the market and put builders back to work.

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