Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Lawsuit takes aim at 'tax swap

UPDATE: Sen. Mike Haridopolos responds to McKay. See the jump.

A lawsuit was filed this afternoon challenging the Amendment 5 "tax swap" that has been put on the November ballot. Read the complaint here.

"The misleading title fails to adequately inform voters of the chief purpose of the proposed amendment," said Barry Richard, attorney for the Coalition to Protect Florida's Economy. "The question is affirmatively and materially misleading by indicating to the voter that Amendment 5 is just about school property taxes."

Instead, the plan calls for increasing the sales tax by at least 1 cent and possibly eliminating some sales tax exemptions or instating a tax on some services, such as accountants.

Former Sen. John McKay, who championed the proposal on the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission earlier this year, said he is confident his side will prevail. "I'm certainly not surprised that special interests will fight as long as they can to preserve their tax exemptions at the expense of the average Floridian," he told the Buzz.

"They are going to try and deny Floridians a 25 percent to 45 percent property tax cut. I think voters will see through the deception, just like they did with Amendment 1."

Replies Sen. Mike Haridopolos, the Melbourne Republican who is helping lead the charge against the plan:

"Actually its almost funny, what John McKay said about special interests, if this were not such a serious issue about the future of our state. How can he call, our elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, community colleges, universities, small and big businesses, senior citizens, anti-tax groups, and Florida farmers a bunch of special interests? The only group supporting this tax increase is the one group specifically exempted from paying higher taxes if this passes, the Realtors. This is exactly why I have challenged John McKay to a series of debates across Florida so we can have a debate about the future of
our state. This is the Sunshine state and lets get this issue into the sunshine!"

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:27am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours