Thursday, May 15, 2008
Two months ago we blogged about Florida's tax swap proposal which is aimed at eliminating a significant portion of the school portion of state property tax and replacing it with a sales tax revenue and other sources. The May 14, 2008, issue of the Orlando Sentinel reports that Florida citizens are poised to vote in November on three proposed constitutional amendments - one would approve the tax swap (Amendment 5) and the other two would essentially authorize the state to use tax dollars to fund private sectarian elementary and high school education (Amendments 7 and 9). Here is an excerpt from the article:
Amendment 7 would remove Florida's century-old ban on state dollars going to religious or "sectarian" institutions. Amendment 9 would spell out that the constitutional requirement to fund "public" schools couldn't prevent tax dollars from going to private schools. Both amendments were pushed by former Bush staffers on the tax and budget panel, which last month put them on the ballot.
* * *
Amendment 5 would eliminate $9.5 billion in required school-tax levies and require the Legislature to replace the revenue from higher sales taxes or other sources. Business groups including Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Retail Federation argue that this will lead to taxes on services such as lawyer fees, haircuts or pet manicures.
For the entire article, see "Teachers union poised to fight amendments: Group will challenge voucher revival, also may battle tax swap," in the May 14, 2008, issue of the Orlando Sentinel.