If Amendment 5 Gets Back on the Ballot, Voter Education Could be Key

By: Mike Vasilinda
By: Mike Vasilinda

Voters in rural Gadsden County on Tuesday approved a half cent sales tax increase. The cash will fund a hospital. Amos Brown was one of the nearly 7,000 people who said 'yes.'

It's not just little places like Quincy where people are saying 'yes' to a tax increase. Voters in huge Miami-Dade on Tuesday also said 'yes.'
Nearly 9 out of ten voters in Miami Dade also said yes to keeping a half mill on their property taxes to fund child care issues.

Florida TaxWatch says it's all about accountability.

"Government officials made the case, we want this money to go to this specific purpose and the tax payers responded accordingly. It's really power to the taxpayers," says Harvey Bennett of Florida TaxWatch.

Next week, the Florida Supreme Court will hear an appeal on Amendment 5, the amendment swaps school property taxes for higher sales taxes and other unknown assessments.

The amendment was thrown off the ballot for being vague. Even if it gets back before voters, a new poll suggests it could have a hard time passing. One reason is voters like Selena Jenkins.

"I'm against that. I don't think we need to cut our education. Anywhere," says Jenkins.

Ironically Selena voted no on the Gadsden half cent sales tax, but she is not so hungry for a tax cut that she's willing to risk funding for schools.

The state's high court will hear the Amendment 5 appeal on Wednesday.

The state wants to certify a final ballot to counties by Friday, so a speedy decision is expected.

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