Joe Negron: Senate likely to consider tax amendment – Florida Politics (blog)
Senate President Joe Negron said Friday he is open to the concept of a constitutional amendment that would make it harder for the Legislature to raise taxes.
In an interview with The News Service of Florida, The Stuart Republican said the Senate is working on a measure “that will be similar in goal” to Gov. Rick Scott‘s proposal to amend the state Constitution to require two-thirds votes by the Legislature before raising taxes or fees or creating new ones.
Negron said the measure is being developed by Senate Finance and Tax Chairwoman Kelli Stargel, a Lakeland Republican.
In August, Scott called for a constitutional amendment that would require a “supermajority” vote before raising taxes and fees, which now can be created or raised by majority votes in the state House and Senate.
Scott said increasing the voting requirement “would make it harder for politicians in the future” to raise taxes or fees.
In November, the House unveiled a proposal (HJR 7001), sponsored by Rep. Tom Leek, an Ormond Beach Republican, that would require two-thirds votes by the Legislature to raise taxes or fees. That would translate to support from 80 members of the 120-member House and 27 members of the 40-member Senate.
The House proposal also would require each tax or fee increase to be passed as a single-subject bill.
The House proposal is pending in the Appropriations Committee, where if it gets a favorable vote, it would be ready for a debate on the House floor.
As the former chairman of budget committees in the House and Senate, Negron was asked about the impact of raising the threshold for passing taxes or fees.
“It’s highly unlikely that the Legislature would raise taxes,” Negron said. “I think the real issue