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Politics

Amendment 5: Super-majority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees

October 6, 2018 - 6:00am

Ballot Language: Prohibits the legislature from imposing, authorizing, or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature in a bill containing no other subject. This proposal does not authorize a state tax or fee otherwise prohibited by the Constitution and does not apply to fees or taxes imposed or authorized to be imposed by a county, municipality, school board, or special district.

How The Amendment Reached The Ballot: Florida State Legislature

What Your Vote Means: A Yes vote on this measure: mandates a two-thirds vote by each chamber of the legislature in order to enact new taxes or raise an existing tax/fee. A No vote on this measure: retains the current simple majority required to enact new taxes or raise existing ones.

Pro: Many attribute Florida’s prosperity to the state’s low-tax and businessfriendly environment. Taxes imposed on businesses and the citizens of Florida should be handled with the highest degree of discernment; requiring more than a simple majority affords this decision a greater consensus. Currently, raising or enacting new taxes requires a simple majority in both chambers and the Governor’s signature. A Yes vote would replace this threshold with a higher standard—two-thirds approval in both houses. A higher threshold would have two valuable consequences – it would ensure that future tax increases are bi-partisan in nature, and it would create a greater level of consistency for individuals and businesses in the state. This measure would make it more challenging to raise taxes than to cut taxes, a wise and common-sense policy, and would preserve one of Florida’s most attractive assets: our low-tax climate.

Con: While making it more difficult to raise taxes might initially seem like a prudent move, it could restrict the government’s ability to raise funds. In that sense, it could be argued that this is a shortsighted initiative. In the future, this could hamper government’s functioning through a “ratchet effect” in which revenue declines via a business cycle and elected officials are unable to make up the difference to balance the budget. Opponents argue that raising the threshold to enact new taxes can cause future policy challenges. The state may not be able to expand programs even if there is public support. Amendment 5 places a microscope on the legislature, which could lead to unintended consequences

 

This amendment is reprinted with permission from the James Madison Institute's 2018 Florida Constitutional Amendment Guide.

 

Comments

How long has the requirement only been a simple majority? If we're so prosperous the way we are, why do we need to make it harder to raise taxes as needed?

Vote no so they can raise the taxes easier and get a bullet train running from Miami to Orlando, and then to Tampa. I promise it will fund itself and hardly cost the tax payers money after they build it. Just think of all the times you will use this bullet train. I’m sure it will only cost $1 to travel from Orlando to Miami because I read somewhere on a blog that’s what it will cost. Super cheap. I’m sure in 20 years they won’t ask for more tax money because they didn’t foresee or calculate the true cost of operating such a thing. By then I’m sure we will have the technology to teleport where we want to go.

WTH... we have cars that drive themselves...and bs if you think this train won't cost the florida tax payers a fortune! You people just make up so much bs! Please show me your accounting! It is a train that leaves at places you have to drive to... at times you don't want to leave and arrive at places you don't want to be! SMDH...

Absolutely. We are behind the times. Every other major place has mass transit

Vote Yes !!!! No bullet train !!!! Metro rail costs the taxpayers millions of dollars to run and operate

What happens when the roads are crumbling and the schools need more money to support a growing population? This amendment is incredibly shortsighted, the legislature needs the freedom to responsibly raise our taxes. Instead, this amendment will make it impossible.

They need to operate the same way most households operate. Do so within your budget and prioritize your needs. It’s easy to raise taxes and toss our hard earned money around and waste it on non essentials. When forced to operate within a budget, you have to make sound decisions and prioritize your projects and allocate the funds appropriately.

Baloney! The roads and infrastructure are not crumbling and should they require repair, they will get it. This will restrict the ability of either party to enact an tax to fund a particular program without getting a broad consensus from both parties. Say for example, “medicare for all” which is a favorite of the dems and will certainly require a hefty boost in state taxes to get it done. Another is the much vaunted high speed rail system which politicians have been salivating over for decades, which would certainly require the enacting of a state income tax to support it when the ridership will not. If the florida voters don’t want it and don’t want to pay for it, we shouldn’t be required to due to one party ramming it through on a simple majority. This will tighten the financial purse strings for increased spending while maintaining it for current needs like road maintenance and infrastructure support.

Incorrect they will not. Proportionate share does not cover the cost of roadway improvements for increased traffic due to growth and developers aren’t obligated nor will offer up the difference. So where does that money come from? How will the increased homestead exemption limits effect the local governments ability to effectively provide infrastructure improvements from their depleting general funds?

yes to less taxes

Absolutely, if you give $10 to government, they will spend it and ask for $20, and on and on it will go, no fiscal responsibility if the supply is unlimited.

Safest thing is not just a NO but a Hell NO on all proposed amendments. None are worth a crap.

Quit feeding the beast. Vote yes

And the first time your home, your business, your children's school and local infrastructure are all destroyed by a disaster not totally covered by insurance (i.e. see Florida Keys or Puerto Rico), I'm sure you'll be among the first one crying to the Legislature for assistance . . . . . . . lack of a vision for the future . . . . . . . PATHETIC . . .

BALONEY Frank ! And your full of it!

Where we really need this is locally, with 60% needed to pass any tax referenda puton the ballot.

They did this in Cal and destroyed their ability to do anything for 2 decades until it was thrown out by another amendment...…………...What we need is open primaries where the people pick the candidates, raked voting and instant run off and top 2 in the general election taking the power from the parties...…………...Only then will we get moderates able to do what is right for everyone.

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