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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Haridopolos throws gas on fight with TBRC



Rebuffed in his attempts to get the TBRC to hold more hearings on the tax swap, Sen. Mike Haridopolos is taking matters into his own hands. He just told the commission that his Senate Finance and Tax Committee will hold hearings on Friday.

The move clearly angered TBRC Chairman Allan Bense, who clenched his jaw, glowered at Haridopolos and rapped his pen on the desk. Bense has said there have been plenty of hearings leading up to last month's vote on the swap, which would greatly reduce school taxes for a higher sales tax, repealing some sales tax exemptions and other revenue sources. But Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, says the plan would not come close to replacing the lost revenue. (his prepared remarks are here )

"Every single constitutional amendment requires a price that," he said. "That's because of reaction to the bullet train. We need to also put a price tag so people know what they are voting for or what they are voting against."

Haridopolos would be the Senate president during the year the Legislature would have to come up with the revenue sources. In recent weeks, he has sent three letters to the TBRC asking members to identify ways to raise money. No one has responded.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:51am]


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