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Local Tax Referendums Targeted in Florida House

Vote here sign
Jay Phagan
Wikimedia Commons
Vote here sign

After a sometimes-heated debate, the Florida House on Thursday approved a proposal that would make it harder to raise local sales taxes.

The House voted 69-44 to pass a measure (HB 5) that targets local sales-tax referendums.

Under the bill, sponsored by Rep. Nick DiCeglie, R-Indian Rocks Beach, sales-tax ballot proposals would have to be approved by two-thirds of voters, up from the current majority.

Also, such referendums would have to be held at the time of general elections instead of in lower-turnout elections.

Critics of the bill said it would go too far in restricting the ability of local governments to meet infrastructure needs.

Rep. Joe Geller, D-Aventura, said the Legislature shouldn’t “hogtie” local governments. But Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hills, said “guardrails” are needed for local referendums.

“This is not government’s money, this is the people’s money,” Ingoglia said.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.