Taxes

This week’s special legislative session is expected to cost taxpayers more than $100,000. But the three-day long process could be a boon for Tallahassee’s local economy.

Florida Tax Watch is calling for Governor Rick Scott to veto money for more than 100 projects it calls “budget turkeys” that didn’t go through the legislature’s proper vetting process. But the watchdog group says the process was more transparent this year.

The City of Tallahassee is beginning budget talks for the coming fiscal year. Commissioners want to contrast their spending process with that of state lawmakers, which primarily took place behind closed doors. The board wants to continue investing in infrastructure and public safety. Mayor Andrew Gillum says that could come in the form of social services.

Local control advocates said the Florida legislature has taken preempting home rule to a new level this session. The legislature wants to extend property tax breaks, regulate vacation rentals and community redevelopment agencies.

A big property tax break for homeowners is likely headed to the Florida ballot after Republicans and Democrats in the Senate joined forces Monday in support of a broader homestead exemption.

The most far-reaching change to Florida tax policy in years now heads back to the House where it is all but assured a favorable vote as the linchpin of Speaker Richard Corcoran’s agenda.

Six Senate Democrats joined 22 Republicans in approving the measure. If passed by voters, it would expand the state homestead property tax exemption to $75,000.

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