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Jax Pension Bill Gets A Minor Facelift In Second Legislative Committee


Two Florida Senate committees have OK’d a bill allowing Jacksonville to vote whether to extend a sales tax to cover pension debt.

But the bill is moving forward with a few changes from the original proposal by Mayor Lenny Curry.

Curry’s plan would let residents decide whether to extend the Better Jacksonville sales tax to cover the city’s $1.6 billion police and firefighter pension debt.

But the Legislature and City Council must first agree to a referendum. Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Orange Park) is leading the charge in the upper chamber.

In the Senate Finance and Tax Committee Monday, the tax extension got a hard end date of 2060, regardless of whether the city collects enough funds to cover the debt by then.  The bill must go through three more committee stops before reaching the House and Senate floors. 

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.