Floridians oppose increasing state taxes but approve local sales tax hikes

Floridians oppose increasing state taxes but approve local sales tax hikes

It just got harder to increase state taxes in Florida.

On November 6, 2018, 66 percent of voting Floridians approved a constitutional amendment requiring two-thirds approval (in each legislative chamber) of all proposed state tax increases. In so doing, Florida joins 14 other states that require supermajority approval for tax hikes.

Departing Governor Rick Scott strongly supported the amendment. In March, he thanked the Florida Legislature for voting 80–20 in favor of HJR 7001, which “will make it harder for politicians to raise taxes for Florida families.” During his tenure as governor, “We have cut taxes more than 80 times,” he said. Should his successor Ron DeSantis be more inclined to raise taxes, he’ll have a harder time.

Florida has no state income tax, so sales tax is an important source of revenue. The constitutional amendment does not prohibit counties, municipalities, school boards, or special districts from levying local fees or taxes.

In fact, local sales tax rate increases were approved in several parts of the state on November 6, including:

Voters in Collier County approved a seven-year, 1 percent sales surtax

Voters in Hillsborough County approved a 30-year, 1 percent sales tax increase for transportation and a 0.5 percent sales tax increase for school improvements

Voters in St. Lucie County approved a 10-year, 0.5 percent sales tax increase to improve roads and water quality

Keeping up with state and local sales tax rate changes can be challenging, especially for companies doing business in multiple states. Automating sales tax compliance makes it simpler. Learn more.

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