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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

No shortage of tax ideas in House



The House Republican leadership may want to take their property tax reform plans to vote, but that has not stopped rank-and-file members from offering their own ideas.

Rep. David Simmons, R-Maitland, said he's got staff running numbers on a proposal that would exempt $60,000 off the first $100,000 of a home, $50,000 off the second $100,000 and $40,000 of the third, and so on. “I got this idea from the Constitution. The homestead exemption that is presently in there says the 25,000 exemption will go away with the legislature adopts a percentage. I said, 'My God, that is the silver bullet.' "

Simmons, who said he cannot vote for the leadership plan because it involves raising the sales tax by 2.5 percent, said Speaker Marco Rubio has encouraged others to come up with ideas. As for the delay in bringing the leadership plan to vote, Simmons said, "They're waiting to see other ideas percolate, as I've been told."

Another idea - one that probably won't fly - is Rep. Julio Robaina's proposal to allow local option gaming to generate revenue to offset property tax cuts. HJR 471 is up for discussion this afternoon, and a speaker will include the director of the Gaming Research Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Rubio is philosophically opposed to gambling and budget chief Ray Sansom agrees.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:40pm]


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