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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Legislature's deal on public schools is another defeat for Scott



Florida lawmakers handed yet another stinging defeat to Gov. Rick Scott Sunday by agreeing to use state tax money and not local property taxes to pay for higher school spending next year. The decision left almost no money left for Scott's tax cut proposals, and then, to drive home the point, lawmakers called their decision "property tax relief" in bold type.

Senate and House members reached a consensus that Scott's plan to boost school spending to record levels was fatally flawed because it would have put the cost almost entirely on local property owners and businesses that would have been hit with higher propeerty tax bills for school operations under a statewide program known as required local effort. 

Scott's budget recommendations relied on local property taxes for nearly 90 percent of the school spending increase.

"This increased investment in education should not result in steep increases in property taxes," Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said Sunday night in announcing the agreement with his House counterpart, Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami.

[Last modified: Sunday, February 28, 2016 9:11pm]


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