Florida Legislature Ready to Begin Special Session on Property Tax Cuts

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - What is being billed as the biggest tax cut in Florida's history is the only item on the Legislature's agenda for a special session that began today.

Leaders of both Republican-controlled chambers agree on a two-step plan that would slash property taxes by more than 30 billion dollars, or 16 percent, over the next five years.

City and county officials have acknowledged a need for reductions and changes in the tax structure. But they argue the package could cut vital services including police and fire.

Most of the criticism, by Democratic legislators as well as local officials, is aimed at the second part of the plan. That is a proposed state constitutional amendment that would sharply cut taxes on primary homes, known as homesteads.

It would reduce taxes by 16 billion dollars over the five-year period, including those going to schools.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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