Amendment 5 Struck Down
It promised to replace a portion of school funding, yet hold schools harmless through budget cuts or sales tax increases that not been determined.
"Any uncertainty worries us and our ability to provide services to citizens because uncertainty means you don't know how your revenue soon might be impacted," said Gainesville City Manager Russ Blackburn.
A judge ruled Thursday to toss the amendment off the ballot because language promising to hold schools harmless was only good for one year.
Blackburn says with Amendment One and other changes in the last year, a tight fiscal climate is difficult enough without another modification.
"We knew if the legislature had to go back, and adjust all the expenditures and their revenues it was bound to affect the city somehow," said Blackburn.
With the understanding that sales taxes would go up to some degree to at least partially balance the revenue losses, Marion County Property Appraiser Villie Smith says he's glad to see the idea of tax reform, not just tax relief.
"Right here in Marion County if passed, it would be 1/3 of the tax bill would be gone if it did pass, that does excite people," said Smith.
But, Smith says without identifying the replacement funds specifically, it's putting the cart before the horse.
"To do away with 1/3rd of that and not have something in place to gather that money back, is a big issue," said Smith.
Supporters of Amendment Five have said they will fight the judge's decision in the State Supreme Court. If the decision is reversed, the amendment may still make it on the November ballot.
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