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More unions take on the prop tax amendment

The South Florida AFL-CIO holds a noon organizational meeting today urging its members to get behind its "South Florida Gets Active" campaign against the Jan. 29 property tax amendment. In an e-mail to members, it noted that "all unions will be impacted and must participate." The group's rallying cry: "Working families say: 'HELL NO! VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 1.'"

The group is one of a growing number of opposition groups who want to defeat the proposed amendment put on the ballot by legislators and now being pushed by Gov. Charlie Crist. Another is the teacher's union. The Florida Education Association today launched its political committee devoted to squelching the amendment that could cut $1.5 billion from public schools.

The FEA's committee is called the Public Education Defense Fund and its goal will be to use grassroots connections to get out the message that "in addition to the $2.75 billion hole this scheme would blow in the education budget, other critical services will be threatened, as well, including local police and fire services”, said Bill Phillips, spokesman for the group. “In return for compromising these critical public services, the average homeowner would get back less than the cost of two movie tickets a month.  That’s a deal no voter can afford.”

They're up against Gov. Charlie Crist, who has raised $1.5 million, to push the amendment.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Marco Rubio will be among the local officials at a 4 p.m. "Florida Tea Party" rally at the Miami-Dade auditorium, to drum up support for an alternative to Amendment 1. They are working for a long-shot attempt to get enough signatures to put on the November ballot a cap on tax assessments that would limit how much any property owner would pay to 1.35 percent of the market value. The signature-gathering event is sponsored by the Miami-based Fair Property Tax for All.

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