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Senate pushes super-majority vote for future taxes and fees

Revenue-limiting measure could go to Florida voters in November<br>

Having cleared the House, a bill to make it harder for future Legislatures to increase taxes and fees is gaining momentum in the Senate.

The Senate Finance & Tax Committee on Monday voted 4-2 for the bill (SB 1742), sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland. If it passes the Senate, it will go before voters in November.

The Senate version requires a three-fifths “super-majority” vote by both houses of the Legislature before a tax or fee could be increased. The House bill (HB 7001) has a higher threshold of two-thirds of the members of both houses. Similar restrictions are in effect in 15 states, including California.

Current law requires a simple majority vote to raise a tax or fee.

Labor union representatives called for defeat of the bill. Opposition votes came from two South Florida Democrats: Sens. Daphne Campbell and Jose Javier Rodriguez, both of Miami.

“Florida is already a very low-tax state,” Campbell said before voting no. She said the higher threshold will worsen the state’s reliance on a regressive sales tax.

“If our state was so regressive, why do we have so many millions of people moving in?” asked Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah.

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