Florida's Taxation and Budget Reform Commission voted yesterday in favor of a constitutional amendment to decrease property taxes in exchange for higher sales taxes, providing it's approved by 60 percent of voters in November.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - April 25, 2008 - A powerful citizens panel culminated a year of work on Thursday and put a plan to swap some property taxes for sales taxes on the November ballot, despite weeks of intense back-room lobbying by business groups that wanted to kill it.
The measure would cut most property-tax bills by at least 25 percent, revamp the way the state pays for schools and order the Legislature to replace the estimated loss of $9 billion with new, expanded sales taxes or other revenue.
The Taxation and Budget Reform Commission voted 18-7 for the amendment - one more than needed to get it on the ballot.
Proponents hailed the tax swap as the salve needed to stimulate the ailing housing market, revive the economy and prepare the state's tax system for the next 20 years. The tax cut would take effect Jan. 1, 2010.
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