One Way to Stop Intergovernmental Infighting
State government and local governments in Florida fought with one another over taxes in January. Governor Charlie Crist and most legislators favored a constitutional amendment ...
State government and local governments in Florida fought with one another over taxes in January. Governor Charlie Crist and most legislators favored a constitutional amendment to cut property taxes. Most local officials, whose governments depend on property tax revenue, didn't.
The state won. Voters approved the measure, known as "Amendment 1," with more than 60% of the vote.
Now some legislators want to make sure this sort of intergovernmental conflict never happens again -- by forbidding municipalities from trying to influence election results. The Orlando Sentinel explains:
Legislators also are considering a ban on using public money for election advocacy after the statewide effort local governments waged to warn residents about possible cuts to park services, law enforcement and senior programs if Amendment 1 passed.
"What we are going after is the big-ticket expenditures of spending my tax dollars to tell me how to vote on an issue when I may be 100 percent opposed to it," said Sen. Charlie Justice, the St. Petersburg Democrat sponsoring it. "I have seen the line pushed further and further in recent years."
Kraig Conn, legislative counsel for the Florida League of Cities, said local officials had a duty recognized by the Florida Supreme Court to spend taxpayer money to influence elections if it serves a public purpose. The Florida League of Cities, which is supported by dues from more than 400 municipalities, spent $800,000 fighting Amendment 1 with mailers.
"That's a representative form of democracy, to use their offices to express an opinion," Conn said.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
The Week in Public Finance: D.C. Interference, Let's Make a Deal and Urban Poverty2 days ago
Oklahoma's First Transgender State House Candidate Loses Primary Race2 days ago
Feds Revoke Oklahoma's NCLB Waiver After State Repealed Common Core2 days ago
Ferguson Protesters Sue Police for $41 Million2 days ago
9 Years After Katrina, Feds Forgive $391M in Disaster Debt2 days ago
Governor: Utah Should Defend Anti-Polygamy Law2 days ago