The state’s pass-the-buck Legislature

Words from the staff of my newspaper. J

Our pass-the-buck Legislature.

When the Florida Legislature’s annual session ends next month and campaigning for state offices begins, incumbents seeking re-election to state offices will brag how they have kept taxes low.

Their claims will be correct.

HOWEVER!

Seems like when it comes to our politicians, there is always a However.

There is more, because with our government officials, there is always a read between the lines, if you will. L

Florida’s place on the bottom rungs of state-level taxation and total revenue are due in part to an extraordinary reliance on local governments — not only to provide services, but also to generate dollars.

Thanks to the folks at TaxWatch, who recently issued their 2014 “How Florida Compares” report, we know that:

The state has the fifth-highest percentage (50 percent) of state and local taxes generated by local governments.

Florida has the second-highest percentage (55 percent) of state and local revenue generated by local governments.

Local revenues include not only property taxes but also local-option sales taxes, impact fees, franchise fees for utilities and special assessments.

In general, cities, counties and other local entities in Florida are assigned and assume disproportionately greater responsibility for courts, social services, infrastructure, and health care for indigent patients and education.

Nowhere is the state government’s reliance on locals more evident than in public education.

http://www.dailycommercial.com/voices/article_fdc1d0b4-65ae-5590-ad12-1e428f9ec552.html

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