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League of Women Voters Down On Legislative Supermajority Tax Amendment (Amendment 5)

The League of Women Voters of Florida argues a vote for Amendment 5 will hurt the state’s ability to pay for services like public schools.  The proposal requires a super-majority to vote in favor of raising taxes and fees.

Florida lawmakers have not done a significant tax increase since 2009. But local governments require a supermajority vote on tax increases. Florida TaxWatch, a government watchdog group, argues the legislature should follow suit. But League of Women Voters of Florida President Patricia Brigham says voters already rejected that:

“Just six years ago Floridians overwhelmingly rejected a similar proposal to tie the hands of future lawmakers with a supermajority requirement for any revenue increases," she says.

She’s referring to a previous proposal known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights or TABOR. States like Colorado and Oklahoma have struggled with similar restrictions that have resulted in cuts to education, and emergency services which the league and its supporters worry could happen in Florida should Amendment 5 pass. 

Colorado passed its plan in 1992, Oklahoma passed its version in 1994. The plans didn't start affectin those states until the recession, when both needed to raise revenue but couldn't, resulting in severe funding shortages across the board.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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