Amendment Three Would Change State Tax Formula
October 18, 2012 | WMFE - In addition to the many federal, state and local candidates on the ballot on November 6th, Floridians will decide the fate of eleven constitutional amendments. Amendment Three would change the method the state uses to determine how much money it can collect in taxes. Supporters of the measure say it will keep government spending in check. Opponents are concerned it will lead to massive cuts in state services such as health care and education.
Here is how amendment 3 works:
2) If the state collects more money than it could spend, lawmakers have to put it what is called a “rainy day fund.”
3) Once that fund reaches 10 percent of the total annual budget, lawmakers will be forced to lower property taxes or give the money back.
Supporters of Amendment 3 say these new rules will keep government spending in check.
The Institute has endorsed the amendment because they say the state has so far been unable to limit the growth of state spending.
That’s why the Florida Association of Counties is telling Floridians to vote no on Amendment 3. The biggest campaign against Amendment 3, though, is being lead by PICO: a nationwide network of faith-based community groups.
Richard Dunn is a pastor living and working in the struggling inner-city in Miami.
He says he’s worried that if the state cuts more spending, people in his community will have to turn to his church for services, but Dunn says his church doesn’t have the resources to pick up the slack.
Opponents also argue that during these past few years of economic hardship, the state has already taken a lot of money out of services.
But Sanchez, of the James Madison Institute, says Amendment 3 would have actually been a big help to the state during hard times.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning policy group in Washington, released a report claiming the amendment would cost Florida 11 billion dollars in revenue over ten years.
She says Colorado had to make big cuts in health services and education, among other things. Williams says that’s because there are fundamental flaws with tying state tax rates to population growth and inflation.
This series on the state’s ballot measures this year was produced by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and VotersEdge.org, a nonpartisan online guide to Florida’s constitutional amendments.
Visit Votersedge.org for more information.