Worried about tax progress, Dems revamp plan
House minority leader Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, sat sprawled across a chair in the lobby of the Tel Aviv Hilton at midnight, Israel time, voicing his doubts about the progress of tax negotiations and hearing the concerns of more than a dozen members of the Democratic caucus in a conference call with lawmakers.
Democrats were preparing for next Monday's tax hearing in which they will formally introduce a revised homestead exemption proposal. It provides half off the median home value in particular county - just as the first plan did - plus 25 percent off the next increment up to twice the median value and 10 percent off up to three times median value. County impacts are here.
Overall one-year savings: $2.4 billion, $900,000 more than the previous plan. "This approach tends to spread out relief among a greater number of homeowners while also protecting the tax base of economically challenged communities," Gelber wrote in a letter Thursday to Sen. Mike Haridopolos and Rep. Dean Cannon.
As Gelber chatted a half a world away, the Buzz in Tallahassee was that Speaker Marco Rubio and Senate President Ken Pruitt may announce Friday that they have decided on a homestead exemption method. Even then, no numbers are expected to be released.
-- Steve Bousquet / Alex Leary