McKenzie bashes Rouson's tax swap plan
The Rev. Charles McKenzie today criticized state Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, for supporting a controversial tax swap proposal on November's ballot. McKenzie called the plan -- placed on the ballot by the state Tax and Budget Reform Commission that Rouson was a member of -- dangerous and unreliable.
"Amendment Five is a direct assault on the school children of District 55 and their parents," said McKenzie, a longtime public school teacher who is challenging Rouson in the Democratic District 55 primary. "It will increase the sales tax burden on all our working families and this amendment jeopardizes funding for our public schools at a time when public school teachers and students are already under assault by the Republican-led Legislature."
Amendment Five calls for eliminating most school property taxes for a savings of at least 25 percent. The Legislature would have to come up with $9 billion or more for schools by increasing the sales tax 1-cent and picking from a menu of other options.
Rouson is leading the campaign along with Rep. Frank Attkisson, R-Kissimmee.
McKenzie said the plan would unfairly impact low-income families who do not own property. It also puts the public education system at risk, he said.
To read more about Amendment Five check out the Buzz, our sister political blog.
Meanwhile, McKenzie also secured the endorsement of Pinellas County School Board Member Linda Lerner today.
-Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer