The budget package includes a modest increase in per-student spending through the state’s main education formula, $521 million in Medicaid cuts for hospitals and far-reaching changes to education across the board.
The package is far short of the $1 billion in tax cuts that Gov. Rick Scott requested. The trimmed-down package is the result, at least in part, of lawmakers responding to state economists reducing revenue forecasts for the next couple of years.
The new tax-cut package will combine with about $290 million earmarked to hold down local property taxes that would otherwise go into the state’s school-funding formula.
The House intends to offer a $1 billion tax-cut package that includes Gov. Rick Scott’s call to reduce a tax on commercial leases and holding a back-to-school sales tax “holiday.”
Scott wants a larger tax-cut package in 2016 than the $673 million he sought this year, even though the state budget surplus is projected at $635.4 million, much of it one-time revenue that won;t recur in subsequent years.
The tax savings are projected at less than $2 a month for people paying $100 a month for phone or TV services. The package reduces costs on cell-phone bills, cable TV bills, gun club memberships, college textbooks and luxury boat repairs.
Floridians could still get a reduction in their cable-TV and cell-phone bills as part of a new House tax-cut package, though it’ll fall short of the nearly $700 million package projected earlier this year.
The governor’s office said it would save about $43 a year for a family that spends $100 a month on cell-phone and cable services, though spending on such services varies widely by household.
Funding for Daytona International Speedway and a temporary tax break on gym memberships could be casualties when the House and Senate meet next week on their opposing packages to complete Gov. Rick Scott’s $500 million election-year tax cuts.
“Moral Monday” included an array of left-leaning groups calling for lawmakers to expand Medicaid, stop the state’s voter purge and roll back the “stand your ground” self-defense law, while a right-wing group later held its own event to oppose expanding Medicaid and support overhauling the state’s pension system, cut taxes and expand school vouchers.