On Thursday, the day after Tax Day, Florida’s storm of taxation was making landfall with a vote out of the Senate passing SB 2600, a tax-hiking budget with a pricetag of over $65 billion. This was one day after seeing rallies all over the country in opposition to more taxes and more spending. The Florida Senate simply ignored this rally cry of the people. This was followed on Friday by the House passing a $65 billion plus budget of their own, with no tobacco tax included. The Senate’s version of the budget would hit tobacco consumers with an estimated $2 billion increase over the next two fiscal years. For names of Senate Pledge breakers (every signer broke the Pledge), click here.
However, all hope is not lost for a cheerful ending. The House conferees to this week’s conference committee have the opportunity to make right the paths of the Senate. As SB 2600 moves forward, conferees should realize that the taxpayers of Florida are watching them (for a list of conferees, click here). The House conferees need to stand firm against any and all tax increases. The answer to Florida’s budget crisis needs to be answered with cuts to government, not tax increases.
A last line of defense would be Governor Crist. If the House folds to the Senate’s massive tax increases, Governor Crist may be facing a fork in the road (refer to Friday’s blog post: Fork in the Road for Governor Crist: Will it be Ronald Reagan or Bob Dole 3.0?)and an opportunity to save the taxpayers of Florida by vetoing any tax increases that come across his desk (He is one of six Governors to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge). Stay tuned………
Extra: On a different note, why are Florida lawmakers looking at high speed rail when they are having problems paying the bills without tax increases right now. There is a very real possibility that they may not be able to continue funding the rail system without taxpayer subsidies and tax hikes when completed. Read this.
Photo Credit: lilith121