TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Voters will soon decide whether to make it more difficult for state lawmakers to raise taxes and fees.
It's Amendment 5 on the ballot.
- Legislature would need to approve by a two-thirds vote in each house to create or raise a state tax or fee.
- Supermajority would mean approval from 80 out of 120 members of the state House of Representatives and 27 out of 40 members of the state Senate.
- It adds a section to Article VII of the Florida Constitution.
- Decision 2018 Voting Guide | See All of the Amendments
Amendment 5 was added to the November ballot by Florida legislators.
The proposal does not apply to the corporate income tax or "fees or taxes imposed or authorized by local government or schools."
The amendment also would also require the tax and fee legislation to be proposed in their own separate single-subject bills. Currently, a simple majority vote of approval is needed to raise Florida taxes and fees. That means approval from 21 out of 40 members of the state House and 61 out of 120 members of the state Senate.
A supermajority would require a two thirds vote and make it more difficult to raise state taxes and fees.
"There are a number of states that already require a super majority to raise taxes," said retired USF Political Science Professor Darryl Paulson. "This is a little bit different because it applies not only to taxes, but also to fees."
Critics believe the amendment could prevent lawmakers from responding during times of emergencies, like providing hurricane assistance. Critics have also said a super-majority requirement would hurt assistance in low-income communities.
Supporters believe there should be a higher standard to raise taxes and fees, than to lower it.
The amendment is supported by Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. The amendment is opposed by the League of Women Voters and Organize Florida.
Amendment 5 requires a supermajority vote to be put into the Florida Constitution.
Prohibits the legislature from imposing, authorizing, or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature in a bill containing no other subject. This proposal does not authorize a state tax or fee otherwise prohibited by the Constitution and does not apply to fees or taxes imposed or authorized to be imposed by a county, municipality, school board, or special district.
- YES VOTE -- Florida lawmakers will not be able to raise a tax or fee unless it's approved by two-thirds of the Florida House and Senate each, and it must be in a single-issue bill.
- NO VOTE -- Rejects the amendment