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Geller talks with gov on prop taxes and gambling

Democratic Senate Leader Steve Geller's meeting with Gov. Charlie Crist this morning on gambling, inevitably morphed into a discussion on property taxes. The governor is clearly interested in getting the issue revived in special session, after a Leon County court judge knocked the property tax amendment off the ballot because of misleading language.

The governor asked Geller: "Could you just fix the title?''  Geller responded: "I dont think the Senate has the votes to pass this any longer.''

Geller also wonders "what happens if the appeal wins?" If the legislature puts a new version of the ballot measure on the ballot as well, "does that mean you have two on the ballot?''

Meanwhile, on gambling, Geller wanted to make his case one more time before the governor finishes negotiations with the Seminole Tribe on the gaming compact. Geller, whose district includes three parimutuel casinos as well as the Seminole's Hard Rock Casino, urged Crist to consider this approach: allow the parimutuels and the Seminoles to have card games and slots in Broward and, in the future, Dade while the Seminoles have it exclusively everywhere else. Other parts of the state would be allowed to hold a referendum to get either of those options.

Geller admits he doesn't know how likely it is for his approach to win approval in the anti-gambling House. "Would they be prepared to authorize Class 3 gambling in other parts of the state with a local referendum? I don't know."