FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2018
Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

MIAMI – The Libertarian Party of Florida recommends YES of the following Amendment:

Amendment 5 – Prohibits the legislature from imposing, authorizing, or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature in a bill containing no other subject. This proposal does not authorize a state tax or fee otherwise prohibited by the Constitution and does not apply to fees or taxes imposed or authorized to be imposed by a county, municipality, school board, or special district.

Libertarian Party of Florida Platform

I. STATE GOVERNMENT

  1. We advocate a sunset law requiring an automatic end to most government offices, agencies, departments, laws, regulations, taxes, and expenditures within ten years if not reauthorized.

VI. TAXES

  1. The legislature should find more voluntary means of supporting state services, such as lotteries and user fees.
  2. Taxation of privately owned real property should be eliminated. In effect, it makes the state the owner of all lands by forcing individuals to pay rent to the state or forfeit their title.
  3. The personal property tax on Florida businesses should be repealed.
  4. Tax favoritism should be illegal. Abatements, subsidies, credits, or other incentives to businesses based on geographical area, job creation, or any other criteria deny equal protection under the law.
  5. Sales tax on used merchandise that is resold results in double taxation and should be eliminated.
  6. Adding sales tax to products already subject to specific state taxes, such as gasoline and cigarettes, should be ended. This practice results in double taxation, as consumers are paying a tax on a tax.
  7. We oppose any sales or use tax on the Internet.

VIII. WELFARE and CHARITY

    Providing for the needy by forcibly taxing others is contrary to the legitimate function of government, which is to protect the rights of everyone. Disbursing charity from a welfare system costs society more than it gains. It is inefficient, open to fraud and abuse, and creates resentment. Traditional, voluntary sources of emergency support from families, churches, and private charities have always been more humane, more effective, and willingly borne by the givers. Therefore, until the income tax is repealed, we advocate dollar-for-dollar tax credits for all charitable contributions to encourage a transition from public welfare to private support.

Discussion

This Amendment represents the greatest leap forward in decades to constrain state government spending, often described as “out of control.” By imposing a two-thirds “supermajority” vote requirement on taxes and fee increases, voters send the message to the Florida Legislature they do not want any taxation and levies unless it truly important. We’d like to see it harder for lawmakers to raise taxes and fees, a 75 percent approval even, but this is a start.

What this proposal doesn’t do is block new taxes or fees. Nor does it require taxes and fees to be reduced. As long as we have a two-party system lock on the Legislature and a voting public that doesn’t feel they have options, we will still get “government business as usual” with this Amendment. A majority of one party may simply coalesce into a consensus to pass their pork-filled packages. While a supermajority requirement will indeed force negotiations between the two parties, they still will produce pork, just in slightly different barrels.

Many cities and counties already have two-thirds restrictions on new taxes and fees. We want to move in the direction of no new taxes for all levels of government without voter approval. For now, this is a healthy start in what hopefully will become a journey back to our origins of free-will governance.

By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer
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