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.