Advocates for social services, public employees and college students called for the Legislature to consider increasing taxes, removing tax exemptions and ending business subsidies like those for professional sports stadiums instead of deeper budget cuts as a solution the state’s $3.75 billion budget shortfall, reports the News Service of Florida. “We’ve been hearing over and over again that there are no choices, we have$4 billion dollar deficit, there’s nothing to do but cut, cut, cut,” said Karen Woodall, coordinator of the Coalition for Fair and Comprehensive Tax Reform, which put together a press conference Monday to highlight alternatives. “… The fact of the matter is, legislators do have choices.” According to advocates, the state could raise $5 billion or more by getting rid ofa slew of exemptions, credits and “loopholes” in the current code, taxing some services and at least partially reinstating the intangibles taxes. “We have a budget that has no courage whatsoever. … We’ve addressed a budget crisis by lying to the Floridians that pay taxes and saying that there are no alternatives,” said Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach. Added Roy Miller, president of The Children’s Campaign: “The question we want to pose is: Has compassionate conservativism been replaced by political indifference?” For their part, legislative leaders have flatly rejected tax increases, saying raising taxes when the economy is just beginning to regain its footing could hurt the recovery.