September 18, 2002

Legislative Activity

Date: September 18, 2002

To: AAF Members

From: Clark Rector, Jr., Senior Vice President-State Government Affairs

Re: Florida Services Tax Constitutional Amendment

Earlier today (September 18), a Florida appeals court removed a proposed constitutional amendment from the state's ballot in the upcoming November elections. The proposed amendment would have created a 12 member legislative committee authorized to do a three-year review of all tax exemptions starting in 2004. The committee's recommendation to repeal or retain an exemption would have had the force of law, unless specifically reversed by the legislature.

One month ago, a trial judge ruled the amendment could stay on the ballot. However, several business groups challenging the measure appealed to the 1st District Court of Appeal. A three-judge panel agreed with the groups that the description of the proposal to be put on the ballot was impermissibly confusing.

The Florida Secretary of State must certify the ballot by Friday, September 20. A spokesman for the Secretary of State's office has been quoted as saying an appeal of the court's decision is unlikely, partially due to time constraints.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments by calling (202) 898-0089.