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Florida State Legislature Still At Odds Over Property Tax Vote

Florida State lawmakers still remained at odds recently over their plans to cut property taxes with time running out in their special session.

Legislative leaders and Gov. Charlie Crist have said they still believe they can strike a deal before the session ends Monday, clearing the way for another tax-cutting constitutional amendment to be placed on the Jan. 29 presidential primary ballot. However, with the House and Senate backing differing plans, others say there may be too many complications to resolve and it may be better for lawmakers to wait until their spring session to craft a tax-cutting measure that could be placed on the November general election ballot.

One of the key differences is the House's insistence on placing a 5 percent cap on property assessment increases for businesses, apartment buildings, second homes and other non-homestead properties. The Senate rejected a similar measure. Following the House's 110-2 vote in favor of the tax-cutting amendment (SJR-2D) on Monday night, House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, said the 5 percent cap was part of an overall package "that has something for everybody."

House Democratic leader Dan Gelber of Miami Beach noted that he has similar concerns about the 5 percent cap, although he still supports the House plan.

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