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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mayor asks Supreme Court to ditch tax plan

The mayor for the City of Weston, Eric M. Hersh, filed a petition this morning asking the Florida Supreme Court to scrap the Jan. 29 referendum on property taxes and throw out the just-enacted rollback and cap of local property tax bases.

Hersh, a Democrat, argues that the proposed constitutional amendment is misleading and without it, the rollback and cap is not valid. The petition asserts that amendment fails to inform voters that Save Our Homes would be phased out and that it implies everyone would get a minimum $50,000 homestead exemption. In fact, people who stick with SOH remain at $25,000.

"Mayor Hersh recognizes the great importance of property tax reform, and understands the Legislature's zeal to enact changes as quickly as possible," the petition reads. "However, on an issue as important as this, voters are entitled to a clear, accurate and non-misleading ballot statement to assist them in making this critical decision. In addition, the Legislature should not be permitted to ignore local governments' Constitutional right and authority to levy property taxes up to ten mills by exercising its not-yet-existent authority to limit increases in local government millage rates."

The suit is based on this legal analysis, which the Times recently wrote about. A 4 p.m. news conference is scheduled in Weston.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:38pm]


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