Not that it is really a debatable issue any longer (at least not now), on the ballot was a tax swap amendment goaled at reducing Florida property tax by up to 40% and substituting the lost revenue with consumption taxes such as an increases sales tax, eliminating sales tax exemptions, and possibly a state income tax. In order to replace the revenue, the state would likely have to adopt up to a 3% sales tax increase and institute a state income tax, even though Florida, at this time, has no state income tax.
I have mixed feelings about this, it almost seems too radical. There has been much debate over this issue, Realtors and property owners have very much supported this issue, just as the AARP and the Florida Tax Watch adamantly oppose the issue. The AARP claim that it would have severely detrimental effects on the public services for the elderly and the Florida Tax Watch opposes any type of tax increase, period.
I’m a little frightened by an increase in sales tax, but then again, most of my purchases are done online, and I could really use a savings in property taxes, as I’m sure, most of you can also. I mean, when you really break it down, the property owners are actually carrying the weight of the revenue generation – if the property tax swap was to be voted in, the revenue generation would be spread more evenly between all residents. Why should property owners have to shoulder the weight of supporting our schools and public services for the elderly.
Actually, I’m in favor of supporting Amendent 5, oh wait, Florida Circuit Judge John C. Cooper ruled its title and summary misleading and removed it from the November 4th ballot. Citing that the amendment fails to define how the revenue will be replaced, Judge Cooper said that it is deficient and thereby unsuitable for a vote at this time. Governor Crist said the state would appeal the decision.
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