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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

State tax cap approved by Florida Senate

15

March

A constitutional amendment that would stop state tax collections from growing faster than a combination of inflation and population growth was approved on a largely party line vote, 27-13, today in the Senate. Republican Sens. Nancy Detert, Paula Dockery and Democratic Sen. Bill Montford crossed party lines in the vote.

The amendment (SJR 958), approved on Senate President Mike Haridopolos' 41st birthday, now moves to the House, where no similar proposal exists. If it is passed there, it would be placed on the 2012 statewide ballot and need support from 60 percent of the voters.

Democrats argued the proposal would prevent the state programs from recovering from the recession and put the state's bond rating at risk. "I won't say I told you so, but wait a couple months after the election and see what happens to Florida bonds," said Sen. Gwen Margolis, D-North Miami Beach.

Republicans said the cap could be busted with extraordinary votes and that it would not be as strict as Colorado's controversial "Taxpayers Bill of Rights," which the Florida measure largely mirrors. "If government takes less, the people have more," said Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale.

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:40am]

    

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