Florida Local Option Sales Tax for Community College Funding, Amendment 8 (2008)

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IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXII

The Florida Local Option Sales Tax for Community College Funding Amendment, also known as Amendment 8 was a commission referral on the November 4, 2008 election ballot in Florida, where it was defeated.

  • The amendment sought to modify Article VII, Section 9 of the Florida Constitution to allow communities to levy an additional sales tax to provide additional funding to community colleges.[1]

Election results

Florida Local Option Sales Tax for Community College Funding, Amendment 8 (2008)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No4,161,73156.45%
Yes 3,210,481 43.55%

Election Results via: Florida Department of State Division of Elections

Text of measure

The ballot title read:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

LOCAL OPTION COMMUNITY COLLEGE FUNDING.[1]

The ballot summary read:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to require that the Legislature authorize counties to levy a local option sales tax to supplement community college funding; requiring voter approval to levy the tax; providing that approved taxes will sunset after 5 years and may be reauthorized by the voters.[1]
ARTICLE VII
FINANCE AND TAXATION

SECTION 9. Local taxes. -­
(a) Counties, school districts, and municipalities shall, and special districts may, be authorized by law to levy ad valorem taxes and may be authorized by general law to levy other taxes, for their respective purposes, except ad valorem taxes on intangible personal property and taxes prohibited by this constitution.
(b) Ad valorem t axes, exclusive of taxes levied for the payment of bonds and taxes levied for periods not longer than two years when authorized by vote of the electors who are the owners of freeholds therein not wholly exempt from taxation, shall not be levied in excess o f the following millages upon the assessed value of real estate and tangible personal property: for all county purposes, ten mills; for all municipal purposes, ten mills; for all school purposes, ten mills; for water management purposes for the northwest p ortion of the state lying west of the line between ranges two and three east, 0.05 mill; for water management purposes for the remaining portions of the state, 1.0 mill; and for all other special districts a millage authorized by law approved by vote of th e electors who are owners of freeholds therein not wholly exempt from taxation. A county furnishing municipal services may, to the extent authorized by law, levy additional taxes within the limits fixed for municipal purposes.
(c) Counties served by an o pen - access public institution whose primary mission and responsibility includes providing lower level undergraduate instruction and awarding associate degrees shall be authorized by law to levy a local option sales tax to supplement the funding of the institution. The tax may not be levied unless approved by the electors of each county served by the institution. The local option tax shall sunset after five years and may be reauthorized by the electors as provided by law.[1]

Support

Arguments

Notable arguments made in support of the measure included:

  • Community colleges serve as a gateway to the university system and to greater employment opportunities; this amendment could increase their funding.[2]
  • Voters would have the option of denying any proposed local-option sales tax increase under the proposal.[2]

Opposition

Arguments

Notable arguments made in opposition to the measure included:

  • Amendment 8 would open the door for decreased state funding for community colleges over time.
  • If the larger counties approve this measure, smaller counties may be coerced in the future to approve similar measures to pay for their own funding.
  • Sales taxes impose a greater burden on lower-income families.[2]
  • The measure shifts the burden of funding community colleges from state to local authorities.[2]
  • The amendment could create unequal opportunities for Florida residents based on the economy in their county of residence.[2]
  • Even though the tax hikes would require voter approval and sunset after 5 years, opponents are concerned that this amendment could open the door to more expansive and self-perpetuating tax burdens.

Media editorial positions

Support

  • The Miami Herald[3]

See also

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