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Gov. Rick Scott seeks amendment on tax measure

Proposal would require supermajority vote in Legislature

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would make it harder for state legislators to raise taxes or fees.

The Republican governor announced his proposal Monday at Verizon in Lake Mary.

Scott, who is considering running for the U.S. Senate, wants the measure to go before voters in 2018.

If passed by 60 percent of voters, state legislators could not pass any future taxes or fees without a supermajority vote. Scott has not yet exactly outlined what would be covered by the proposal or how large a supermajority would be needed.

"I am proud that by working with the Florida Legislature, we have cut more than $7 billion in taxes, and I look forward to cutting even more taxes next year," Scott said. "While cutting taxes is important, we must prevent against unfair tax increases in the future so our progress is not undone. It is my goal to make it harder for politicians to raise taxes on Florida families and businesses -- and that can be achieved with an amendment to our state’s constitution."

Scott also touted the unemployment number in Florida.

“The four years before I became governor, we had lost over 800,000 jobs, taxes were increased by more than $2 billion and our economy was in shambles," Scott said. "We had to turn Florida’s economy around and grow jobs for Florida families, and that started with cutting taxes. Today, after cutting more than 75 taxes in the last six years, nearly 1.4 million new jobs have been added in our state and our unemployment rate has dropped to a ten-year low."

Scott said his experience as a business owner helped him shape the proposal.

"I have had to worry about making payroll, and any tax increase by politicians could mean job layoffs or closures. Because this issue is so important to ensuring future economic growth in our state, I will use every tool available to ensure Florida voters have the chance to consider this proposal."

Several other states, including California, have similar restrictions.

Scott wants the Florida Legislature to place the amendment on the ballot. But the governor said he may also ask the Constitution Revision Commission to consider the proposal.

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