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Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

TABOR: A Pathway to Florida’s Continued Deterioration

According to a 2008 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington D.C.:

Florida’s Taxation and Budget Reform Commission will soon consider placing an amendment on the ballot to tightly limit revenue growth for state and local governments. This proposal, CP 45, deserves a great deal of attention because it shares the fundamental characteristics of Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR):

– it is a constitutional amendment,
– it restricts revenue growth at both the state and local level to a formula based on population change and inflation, and
– it is difficult to override if circumstances make that desirable.

The limit can therefore be expected to cause deterioration in public services in Florida similar to that produced by TABOR in Colorado.

Yesterday, the Senate Government Oversight Committee considered the TABOR proposal but ran out of time before they could take a vote. That may be a good thing given some of the interesting facts came out about TABOR during the hearing.

For instance,

-Twenty-five states have considered passing TABOR legislation, but only one state has passed it – Colorado;
– Because of TABOR, Colorado’s economy lagged recovery from the 2000 recession, regaining only 35,400 of the 117,500 jobs lost since December 2000;

Other findings from the CBPP report about Florida’s proposal include:

  – The proposed state and local revenue cap contains the key elements of Colorado’s TABOR,
which led to reductions in health, education, public safety, and transportation services. Voters suspended TABOR for five years in November 2005.

  – If the proposed limit had been effective in Florida beginning in FY2002, capped state revenues for
the FY 2003 – 2007 period would have been $5.7 billion less than the actual revenue level.

  – Florida is already at the bottom among states on many measures of public services; falling further
could make it unattractive as a place to live or do business.

I know it sounds good to limit revenue growth, and I’m all for keeping taxes under control, but is TABOR the way Florida should proceed for the future?

Read the rest of CBPP’s 2008 report and decide for yourself.

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Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , ,

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  1. […] has posted before, Colorado is the only state to have passed TABOR legislation.  The unfortunate result for that […]

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