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Tax panel scraps tax cap and its replacement

A powerful citizens panel couldn’t muster the votes Monday for a constitutional amendment to cap all government revenue and is falling short on a plan to ask voters to make it harder for all state and local governments to raise taxes and fees.

   

The Taxation and Budget Reform Commission voted 13 to 10 for the tax cap but it fell short of the 17 votes needed to put it before voters in November. Now, supporters say they will ask the legislature to revive the idea and put a proposal on the ballot.

The tax panel then scrambled to find support for a fallback proposal to require a two-thirds vote of all local governments to raise taxes and fees. But when they realized the amendment by Commissioner Susan Story would impact their previous amendment -- to swap property taxes for schools with sales tax increases -- the amendment ran into trouble. The final vote on Story's amendment was 13-10, also short of the 17 needed to bring it to the ballot.

"I am very disappointed that we did not get revenue cap,'' said Mike Hogan, Duval County tax collector and sponsor of the tax cap. "The good thing about this entire process is everyone has participated.'' 

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