Legislators will come back at tax dilemma on Monday

10/19/07 Mitch E. Perry
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State lawmakers are enjoying a long weekend away from discussing property taxes; their goal of getting a constitutional amendment signed by the governor this week didn't happen.

The House will come back to deal with the issue on Monday, the Senate on Tuesday.

Democrat Keith Fitzgerald represents Sarasota in the state House in Tallahassee. He says House Democrats and Republicans have worked well this week – although perhaps for different reasons.

So now a cooling off period is in place, although the leadership and those closely involved with crafting the policy will no doubt be busy behind the scenes reviewing various amendments before the Legislature reconvenes next week.

Some opinion makers think the state is trying to place a square peg into a round hole. On Friday, the Tampa Tribune editorialized that state legislators should "end the charade" in trying to cram a well thought out plan in such a short time.

The Tribune’s opinion has been shared by other local and state newspaper editorial boards, who say the Legislature should spend the next months studying the various proposals and take up the issue again during next spring's regular session. That’s when the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission will propose its solutions after spending this year reviewing different options on how the state collects its revenues.

But Sarasota House Democrat Keith Fitzgerald says that would be abdicating the responsibility the Legislature has in trying to come up with a plan to deal with the property tax crises in the state.

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