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Governor, House Spar Over What Counts As A Tax Increase

Nick Evans

Florida House lawmakers are tangling with the governor’s office over what qualifies as a tax increase.

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s budget proposal counts on new money for education from rising property tax collections.  The rate isn’t changing, but property values are climbing.  To some lawmakers the increasing state revenue represents a tax increase, but Governor Scott’s policy coordinator Christian Weiss defends the plan.

“Keeping a tax rate the same he does not believe is a tax increase,” Weiss says, “For instance, just to illustrate that if your income goes up from last year, you pay more in taxes—so you don’t view that as a tax increase.”

Small government hard liners in the House don’t appear to buy that argument.  Last year the House demanded a property tax reduction, and made up the difference with general revenue.