Amendment making it tougher to raise taxes passes Senate committee

by | Jan 29, 2018

A Florida Senate committee has given approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require a three-fifths vote in both the House and Senate in order to approve a tax increase.

The Florida Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance and Tax gave its nod of approval to the measure during a Monday afternoon committee meeting.

“Every dollar spent on taxes is one less that a family has to pay the mortgage, invest in a child’s college education, or save for the future,” said Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart. “Families across our state plan their budgets carefully to make every dollar count, and this legislation ensures lawmakers do the same by giving voters a chance to make it harder for future legislatures to raise their taxes.”

“Families across Florida understand the sacrifice it takes to increase family revenue by working extra hours, or taking on a second job, and they do not make those difficult decisions lightly,” said Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland. “Likewise, raising state revenues by taking more money from the pockets of hardworking Floridians should be difficult.”

Monday’s vote in the Senate committee follows last week’s approval of the supermajority requirement by the full House.

The measure has the backing of Gov. Rick Scott who has said it should be more difficult to raise taxes, especially during a tough financial crisis when lawmakers might be more inclined to approve a tax increase.

The legislation proposes an amendment to Florida’s Constitution to require a law that imposes a new tax, increases the rate or amount of a tax, or expands a tax base, and that results in a net increase in state revenues, be approved by three-fifths of the membership of each house of the Legislature.

A similar measure is being considered by the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, which meets every 20 years to consider proposed changes to the state Constitution.

The amendment would require approval of 60 percent of the voters to be adopted.


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