Bill would replace school property taxes with increased sales taxes

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A House Republican on Tuesday filed a bill that would eliminate property taxes that go to public schools and replace them with increased sales taxes, reports the News Service of Florida. The bill (HB 1181), filed by Rep. Fred Costello, R-Ormond Beach, calls for a 3 percent “education surtax” that would start to be collected in 2013. The bill would repeal property taxes, known as local required effort, that are a key part of the state’s education funding formula and other school-district property taxes that were not subject to voter approval. The measure calls for stimulating “growth, business expansion and job creation through revenue-neutral tax reform.” The 176-page bill also would take steps to increase collections of taxes on goods sold over the Internet, which it says could eventually lead to a rollback of the 3 percent sales tax for schools. Also, it calls for imposing sales taxes on bottled water as a way to help allow for a rollback.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.