Election Day is Nov. 6th! There are 12 Amendments, find out about them here!

Amendment 5

Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees

Source: Florida Legislature

Quick Summary: Requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve any new or increased taxes or fees, rather than a simple majority.

Full Summary: This proposed amendment would require that all increases in taxes or fees, or the creation of any new taxes or fees, must pass both chambers of the Florida Legislature by a two-thirds vote, or 67 percent.

Under current law, nearly every bill related to taxes or fees must pass the state House and Senate by a simple majority. (The state has a few exceptions, including increases in the corporate tax beyond 5 percent, which requires a three-fifths approval.)

This amendment would dramatically expand those supermajority requirements to include taxes on sales, gasoline, alcohol and unemployment, as well as fees for fishing, drivers licenses and concealed firearms licenses, to name a few (a legislative analysis of the proposal is here).

In the Florida House, that means 80 of its 120 members would have to vote in favor of raising taxes or fees. In the Senate, it would take a vote of 27 of that body’s 40 members.

While bills in the Legislature often contain multiple provisions, this amendment requires that any tax or fee increase must stand by itself in a separate bill.

Amendment 5 does not place any limits on tax or fee increases by local governments, such as cities and school boards. The amendment does not include a provision that would allow for tax or fee increases during times of emergency.

If the amendment passes, Florida will join about a dozen other states that require supermajority votes to raise taxes. The last attempt to limit government revenue or spending was in 2012, when the Legislature placed on the ballot an amendment that tied the amount of money the state can collect in taxes and fees to population changes and inflation. That amendment, known by the acronym TABOR, for taxpayer bill of rights, was defeated.

Florida already is ranked by the Tax Foundation as the fourth most business-friendly state in the nation when it comes to taxes, and Wallethub ranks Florida as the 47th overall lowest tax burden in the nation.

A YES vote on Amendment 5 would:

  • Require a two-thirds vote by the state House and Senate to increase existing taxes and fees or impose new ones.
  • Require that any new or increased taxes or fees be voted on in stand-alone bills.
  • Exclude local governments from any supermajority requirements if they choose to raise taxes or fees.

Supporters:

Florida TaxWatch; Florida Chamber of Commerce

A NO vote on Amendment 5 would:

  • Allow the Legislature to continue approving increased or new taxes and fees through a simple majority vote.
  • Allow the Legislature to continue bundling tax and fee increases with bills that include other measures.

Opponents:

League of Women Voters of Florida; Florida Policy Institute; Progress Florida; Florida Education Association; Southern Poverty Law Center

Additional Resources

The Florida Policy Institute overview of Amendment 5. Click here.

Let Florida thrive! More on Amendment 5. Click here.

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