Supermajority Requirement for Tax and Fee Increases One-step Away From Going Before Voters

by | Dec 12, 2017

A proposed state constitutional amendment that would make it more difficult for the Legislature to raise taxes and fees has one more stop in the constitutional revision process before it’s placed on next year’s ballot for voters to decide.

The measure would require a supermajority vote by the House and Senate to enact tax increases.

It’s one of dozens of proposed amendments being considered by Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) which meets every 20 years to consider changes to the state constitution.

The supermajority proposal, which would require a two-thirds vote for tax and fee increases, passed the CRC’s Finance and Taxation Committee Tuesday morning.

The proposal was presented by the committee’s chairman, Fred Karlinsky, who was appointed to the commission by Gov. Rick Scott. The governor first suggested such an amendment back in August saying that requiring a supermajority would make it more difficult for politicians to raise taxes or fees.

Karlinsky says 14 other states already require a supermajority vote to raise taxes and fees.

The CRC isn’t the only avenue for the supermajority amendment to make it to next November’s ballot. Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, told the News Service of Florida on Friday that he is open to the idea. He told NSF “the Senate is working on a measure ‘that will be similar in goal’ to Gov. Rick Scott‘s proposal.”

A proposal to place a supermajority requirement on the ballot has already been filed in the House.

The Finance and Taxation Committee was the proposal’s only committee assignment in the CRC process which means it now goes to the full commission for consideration early next year. If it is approved by the full commission, the proposed amendment would automatically be placed on next November’s ballot for voters to decide.

If placed on the ballot and approved by voters, the supermajority requirement would mean that future tax and fee increases would need approval from 80 members of the 120-member House and 27 members of the 40-member Senate.



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