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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sen Dems Lack Consensus on Property Tax Fix



Getting a consensus on a property tax plan is not just a Republican problem.

Although Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller held a press conference yesterday releasing the Senate Democratic plan to resolve the property tax crisis, it turns out that some of his own Democrats haven't quite signed on to the plan yet.

Sen. Dave Aronberg said Wednesday during a Democratic Caucus meeting that he hasn't signed on, because he believes the plan's portability language doesn't go far enough. He said it assumes that blanket portability is unconstitutional, based on a few experts. He suggested that portability was a fight worth taking through the court system, if challenged.

Geller disagreed and challenged Aronberg: "You're a good lawyer, check into it yourself."

Sen. Geller also got pelted with property tax questions by Sen. Larcenia Bullard and Sen. Jeremy Ring, who was concerned the Democratic plan doesn't address local governments' spending issues. He also said it doesn't save enough for non-homesteaded property owners. He told the Buzz yesterday that he thought the Democratic plan was Ok and called it better than the House plan.

Geller stressed the plan was a work in progress and that it could change depending on the consensus of Senate Democrats.

After the meeting, Sen. Ted Deutch, who also helped craft the Democratic plan, agreed their plan can still change. He said the Senate Democratic plan met the number one concern of all Senate Democrats: it's comprehensive. "Ultimately, we're all trying to get to the same place," he said.

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


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