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Two Billion in New Fees

May 8th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Smokers, drivers, people fishing from shore, and those who use the courts will all pay more starting in July. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, state lawmakers are raising two billion dollars and calling them user fees.

Drivers will pay more for almost everything. Car tags will double. Renewing your drivers license will cost an extra two bucks. Forgetting to renew a license will be even more expensive, going from one to fifteen dollars. Adding a new car to your family fleet will also cost more.

It would go from 100 to 225 dollars, Rep. Geraldine Thompson (D-Orlando) said.

Fishing from shore used to be free. It will now fifteen bucks unless you are poor.

Imposing 1 billion dollars in new fees called taxes, the bad outweighs the good, Rep. Joe Gibbons (D-Miami).

Homeowners could also see higher property taxes. School boards will get the option of adding an extra 25 dollars for every hundred thousand dollars of a homes value.

That discretionary millage would have to be first voted upon by a super majority of the school board, Rep. Anitere Flores (R-Miami). And then after that the voters would have the final say in the November 2010 election.

Cigarettes will also cost more starting in July. A buck a pack more.

Health advocates say, in addition to almost a billion dollars for the budget, Florida will be healthier.

Its going to save lives, and most importantly, its also going to protect kids, Paul Hull with the American Cancer Society said. Over 300,000 kids will never take up a cigarette because of this measure today.

Homeowners with Citizens Insurance may also pay more. Lawmakers authorized rate hikes of up to 10 percent a year. But all of the fees must still be approved by the Governor.

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

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