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Florida Supreme Court Throws Amendment 5 Off the Ballot

September 3, 2008

Moments ago and by unanimous decision, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of upholding the Circuit Court’s decision to remove Amendment 5 from the November general election ballot.  The Supreme Court Justices also indicated that they would not entertain a request for a re-hearing.  Associated Industries of Florida was a named party on the original lawsuit to knock the amendment off the ballot and a vocal opponent of this flawed proposal.  The official opinions have not been issued as of this time.  We hope to make those available to our members as soon as they are released.

Amendment 5, also known as the “Tax Swap”, would have required the Legislature to fully replace the portion of ad valorem taxes that make up the required local effort (RLE) to fund education with:

  • Revenues gained from the repeal of sales tax exemptions;
  • An increase in the sales tax rate of up to one percent (one cent);
  • Reductions in state spending;
  • Revenues resulting from economic growth attributable to lower property taxes; and
  • Other revenues identified or created by the Legislature.

Below is a statement from AIF President & CEO on the recent ruling. 

Statement By:Barney Bishop, Associated Industries of Florida
Regarding the Supreme Court’s Decision to Remove Amendment 5 from the Ballot

“Florida averted a major threat to its future economic growth thanks to today’s Supreme Court ruling that will keep Amendment 5’s misguided tax swap off the ballot.  According to our recent polling, jobs and the state's economy are at the top of Floridians’ list of concerns. 

This proposed amendment would have worsened our economy because it would have delayed the proposed property tax cut for three long years, and it would have hurt Florida's ability to keep and attract businesses until they knew in 2011 what the new tax structure would become.  Thankfully, we now have until 2010 to find the correct answer to this beguiling issue and, if recent history is any indicator, we will need all of that time to fashion an equitable and fair fix.”