Amendment 5 In Court
The so called tax swap promises a reduction in school taxes but not a reduction in school spending.
IN 1987, Florida gambled on a tax on services. It created a national uproar. Advertisers and conventions boycotted the state. It stayed on the books just six months. Now voters are being asked to tell the legislature to bring back the service tax. In exchange they get a reduction on their property taxes. The problem is there is a big gap between what's being cut and the alternatives being offered as a replacement. The wording voters will see on the ballot says school budgets won't be cut, but deep in the actual language, the guarantee is for just one year. Whether the wording is misleading is now before a judge.
"It indicates that the loss of the required local funding, and that the reduction in the available millage is balanced out by an equal requirement for state funding to replace it," said Coalition To Protect Florida's Economy Spokesperson Barry Richard. That's not true."
Supporters say it will be up to the legislature to figure out how to fund schools.
"There are other ways to pay for it and we're providing the legislature, in this amendment, two years to come up with alternative sources," said "Yes On 5" Spokesman John MacKay.
Amendment 5 is likely to be the most fraught over idea, both in court and on the airwaves, this election season.
Governor Charlie Crist and Florida realtors are supporting the amendment as a way to revive the economy.
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