House Unveils Budget With Biggest Tax Cut In 15 Years

By  //  March 29, 2015

house rolls out $690 million tax cut package


TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — On Tuesday, Finance and Tax Committee Chairman Matt Gaetz rolled out the House’s #NoTaxIsSafe $690 million tax cut package, the largest tax cut since 2000.

Don Gaetz
Don Gaetz

This wide-ranging proposal cuts numerous taxes on everything from cell phone and TV bills to college textbooks to property taxes to taxes on our veterans and deployed military personnel.

These tax cuts will provide substantial savings to families and businesses and infuse more money directly into our economy to help create jobs.

Also this week, the House Appropriations Committee passed the House’s recommended $76.2 billion budget for the Fiscal Year 2015-16.

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This year’s budget responsibly prioritizes funding in the best interest of all Floridians while providing meaningful tax relief to our hard-working citizens.

Our proposed budget makes an historic investment in our state’s education system by increasing K-12 per student funding to its highest level ever.

For Brevard County schools, per-student funding is increased by $170, while total funding for our schools is increased by $21.4 million.

For Brevard County schools, per-student funding is increased by $170, while total funding for our schools is increased by $21.4 million.

The budget proposal also maintains $3.1 billion in reserves to prepare for any potential future economic uncertainties.

The House’s proposed budget makes a significant effort to help Florida’s economy at a critical time when those in the private sector are attempting to maintain growth and create jobs.

The House Budget focuses spending on the primary mission of state government: emphasizing care for the state’s most vulnerable while also demonstrating good stewardship of taxpayers’ dollars.

Next week, the budget proposal will be considered by the full House.

I believe that this is a great budget that keeps Florida on the path to continued prosperity.

House Introduces Legislation to Make College More Affordable

The Florida House has made college affordability a priority this session and has included the issue as a part of the joint Work Plan 2015 agenda.

This week, the Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee passed HB 7125 to address this issue.

The bill seeks to make college more affordable in a variety of ways.

ABOVE VIDEO: Rep. Steve Crisafulli, the new House Speaker, is from Merritt Island, a seventh-generation Floridian and a member of a prominent citrus family. A cousin, the late Doyle E. Carlton, served as governor from 1929 to 1933, while one of Crisafulli’s grandfathers, Vassar B. Carlton, was chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court. Crisafulli and his wife, Kristen, have two daughters.

To help students purchase textbooks at lower prices, the bill requires schools to post textbook International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN), which are unique numeric identifiers, no later than 30 days before the start of classes.

Students can use the ISBN on websites such as Half or Amazon to shop around for textbooks at lower prices.

The bill also requires postsecondary institutions to conduct cost benefit analyses and report annually to their chancellors on the institution’s textbook selection process for general education courses and specific initiatives designed to reduce costs.

The bill also requires each Florida College System institution and state university to publicly notice any proposal to increase tuition or fees at least 28 days prior to consideration by the board of trustees so that students are notified that their bill may potentially increase.

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To help keep college affordable for Florida students, the bill eliminates the ability for state universities to seek approval from the Board of Governors (BOG) for an increase in tuition differential, a supplemental fee charged by the universities to undergraduate students.

It also clarifies that preeminent universities may increase the tuition differential fee by no more than 6 percent, and only if they meet specific performance benchmarks established by the BOG.

Additionally, the bill works to mitigate the rising cost of graduate school tuition by requiring the BOG to approve graduate tuition and fee increases sought by universities.

The Florida House is committed to keeping the cost of college affordable so that more students can achieve their educational goals.

I believe this bill will help open doors to students who may think that college is out of their reach because of the financial hardship.

Brevard Beaches Rank in USA Today Top 5 Lists

Cocoa Beach and Playalinda Beach ranked in the top five of two recent USA Today surveys. Cocoa Beach ranked third in the paper’s list of top five Spring Break destinations while Playalinda Beach ranked fourth in the paper’s survey of the best beaches in Florida.

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These rankings confirm what we have known for a long time – that Florida’s Space Coast is one of the most naturally beautiful parts of our country, and it’s a top recreational destination for both residents and tourists alike.

We have worked hard at the state and county levels to market our beaches around the world, and as your representative, I will continue to work to promote Brevard County as a top destination for families to enjoy.