Florida League of Women Voters
1994 Constitutional Amendments
Amendment 2, Florida Constitution
Limitation on state revenue collections
Limits state revenue collections to the prior year's allowed revenue plus an adjustment for growth based on the growth rate of state personal income over the preceding five years, with excess collections deposited in the budget stabilization fund until fully funded and then refunded to taxpayers. Defines "state revenues." Allows the Legislature to increase this limit by 2/3 vote. Requires adjustment of the limitation to reflect transfers of responsibility for funding governmental functions.
Your choice will be YES to approve this amendment or NO to reject it.
The League reports: "In 1993 a group called Enough is Enough! filed a petition initiative, called The Florida Tax Limitation Amendment, that was a more onerous amendment than this one. The group included former members of the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission who in 1992 were unable to get the votes necessary for the Commission to put such an amendment on the ballot. This group hoped their petition initiative would force the Legislature to place a similar, albeit more reasonable, amendment on the ballot this year. It worked and this amendment is the result.
"This proposed amendment provides speed bumps for increases in state revenue by requiring a 2/3rds vote of each house of the Legislature to exceed the cap. Had this cap been in place in past years it would have been triggered by the services tax, the lottery, and Gov. Chilesí Investment Budget, for example.
"Projections indicate that the increases in revenue permitted under this amendment by simple majority vote of the Legislature will not be adequate to fund the projected increases in the cost of keeping state programs at their current level of service. Over time, this will produce one or more of the following results:
(The three paragraphs above are based on conversations with Edward Montanaro, Director, Joint Legislative Management Committee, Economics and Demographic Research, Tallahassee (904-487-1402).
- 1. Programs will be terminated.
- 2. The funding for existing programs will in effect be reduced, resulting in a lower level of service.
- 3. The Legislature will have to spend the time and energy to achieve a 2/3rds vote to increase funding above the cap.
"Presently, 23 states have constitutional or statutory limits restricting government spending and/or raising of revenues. They operate with varying degrees of success. (See RESEARCH REPORT, Managing Growth in Government: A report on state fiscal limitations throughout the nation, September, 1993, Florida TaxWatch, Inc., Tallahassee, Fla.)
- Provides potential tax relief for Florida citizens by making it harder for the Legislature to increase state taxes and fees by significant amounts (requires a 2/3rds vote of each house to exceed the cap).
- Encourages government efficiency because it will be harder to increase state taxes and fees.
- Will increase citizen confidence in state government.
- Links government expenditures to citizensí ability to pay.
- Provides a tax limitation alternative to the far more restrictive and cumbersome Voter Approval of New Taxes constitutional amendment (no. 5) placed on the ballot by petition initiative by the Tax Cap Committee.
- Makes it more difficult for the Legislature to continue to finance state programs at their present service levels because it will be more difficult to increase state taxes and fees. Some programs may have to be terminated or reduced.
- Could increase the local tax burden on citizens as the Legislature may resort to authorizing more local government local option taxes rather than making direct payments to local governments.
- In states with such caps, the legislature often ignores or votes to override the cap.
- Because Florida has no income tax through which refunds can be made, it will be difficult for excess money collected after the Budget Stabilization Fund is fully funded to be refunded to citizens.
Amendment 1 (Start of regular sessions of the Legislature)
Amendment 3 (Limiting marine net fishing)
Amendment 4 (Revenue limits)
Amendment 8 (Limited casinos)
Return to How to Use This Guide or Ballot
Source: Florida League of Women Voters
540 Beverly Court, Tallahassee, FL 32301