Gov. Rick Scott wants to make it more difficult for state lawmakers to raise taxes and fees. He’s proposing a constitutional amendment that would do just that.
Scott unveiled his plan Monday morning in a news release.
“I am proud that by working with the Florida Legislature, we have cut more than $7 billion in taxes and I look forward to cutting even more taxes next year. While cutting taxes is important, we must prevent against unfair tax increases in the future so our progress is not undone,” Scott said in the release. “It is my goal to make it harder for politicians to raise taxes on Florida families and businesses – and that can be achieved with an amendment to our state’s constitution.”
If approved by voters, Scott’s proposed amendment would require that any future tax or fee increases would have to be approved by a supermajority vote by the Legislature, as a opposed to the simple majority now required.
Scott wants to put his proposal on next year’s ballot, the same ballot that his name will likely appear on as a candidate for the U.S. Senate. Scott is expected to run for the seat currently held by Democrat Bill Nelson.
The governor says he believes the issue is so important to the future economic growth of Florida that he will use “every tool” available to put the measure before Florida voters.
That includes the Constitution Revision Commission, which is currently meeting to consider changes to the Florida Constitution. The CRC meets every 20 years to consider possible revisions to the constitution that would be placed on the ballot.
Either way, Scott’s proposal would need the approval of 60 percent of the voters in order to pass.
“I have run both small and large businesses, and I know the impact a tax or fee increase can have on a business owner. I have had to worry about making payroll, and any tax increase by politicians could mean job layoffs or closures,” Scott added.
Requiring a supermajority vote for tax and fee increases is something done by several other states.
Scott’s proposal has the support of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes. Corcoran says the measure would make sure the taxpayers’ pocketbooks are protected,”
“Requiring in the Constitution a supermajority to raise any tax or fee will do this,” Corcoran said in a statement. “It’s pro-family, pro-future, pro-worker, and pro-taxpayer. It’s anti-government waste, anti-politician, and anti-pork barrel spending. I’m proud to offer my support to Gov. Scott on this bold and will do all I can to see that it is successful.”