Rick Scott, Richard Corcoran want higher hurdle for tax hikes

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land-O’Lakes, and Gov. Rick Scott in West Palm Beach in June.

Florida Gov. and likely U.S. Senate candidate Rick Scott joined House Speaker and potential governor candidate Richard Corcoran, R-Land-O’Lakes, today to call for a state constitutional amendment to make it tougher for the Florida Legislature to raise taxes.

Scott’s proposal would require a “supermajority” — often two-thirds or three-fifths but not yet defined — of both the House and Senate to increase taxes or fees. The governor’s office says it will reveal more details in coming weeks.

Scott’s office indicated it will try to get the Florida Legislature or the state’s Constitution Revision Commission to put the measure on the November 2018 ballot. If added to the ballot, the proposal would require approval of 60 percent of Florida voters to be added to the constitution.

Republican governor candidate Adam Putnam, the state’s agriculture commissioner, quickly endorsed Scott’s idea.

“Governor Scott came into office laser-focused on getting Floridians back to work, and he did so by cutting taxes again and again,” Putnam said in a statement released by his campaign. “I support his efforts to keep that money where it belongs, in the pockets of Floridians. And I’m committed to working with him to build on Florida’s reputation as the place to do business. By keeping costs low, cutting red tape and breaking down regulatory barriers, we can make Florida the launch pad for the American Dream.”

State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, who opened a campaign for governor last week, said he’s taking a wait-and-see approach.

“I appreciate the Governor’s interest in limiting tax increases. I share that desire and will await specifics,” Latvala told The Palm Beach Post via text message. “Meanwhile, more than 20 Floridians a day are dying of opioid overdoses. 36 counties in Florida have lost jobs in the last ten years. Those are my priorities right now.”

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Palm Coast, who is mulling a run for governor, also applauded Scott’s proposal.

“Enacting strong, substantive protections for taxpayers will help Floridians make the most of their own lives and make it harder for big spending politicians to carry the day.  I applaud Governor Scott for his leadership on this issue,” DeSantis said.




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