As the 2014 elections approach, Senate Republicans are downplaying Gov. Rick Scott’s plan for $500 million in tax cuts. Instead, the Florida GOP wants to focus on developing a healthy state budget.
Sen. Joe Negron said that before the Legislature starts looking for money to spend on other projects, they should set aside around $1.5 billion in reserves.
Negron’s price tag is $500 million more than the current proposal of $1 billion in reserves, according to John Kennedy in the Palm Beach Post’s political blog.
The Stuart Republican said he does need at least $100 million for a number of projects designed to address environmental problems in Lake Okeechobee. He is not entirely rejecting Scott’s election-year tax cut proposals.
“I think that’s a very good marker that the governor has set,” Negron told the Post. “But … to achieve that, we’d have to go through the budget and make reductions and use that money to deploy for those fee-and-tax cuts and other spending.”
Although Florida is looking at an $845.7 budget surplus next year, half of that cash is a one-time-only influx to the treasury, making it difficult for the legislature to set up reoccurring tax cuts.
In the four-day tour promoting the $500 million in tax cuts earlier this month, Scott did not specify where what cuts he had in mind.