Florida Governor Rick Scott is making a new pitch for increased public education funding by allowing school districts to collect increased revenue from rising property values.
Even though property tax rates would remain constant, tax bills would likely go up.
Record Budget for 2018-2019
Florida will have a record $33.8 billion of General Revenue available next year including $1.3 billion in new General Revenue. The Governor’s proposed budget is $87.4 billion, which is 2.8% above the current $85 billion budget.
Governor Scott will ask lawmakers to allocate nearly $12 billion of his proposed budget to education for 2018-2019. In addition to the state revenues, the governor wants the property tax millage rate to remain at the Fiscal Year 2017-18 level of 4.308. In previous years, rates were reduced to avoid higher taxes.
The Legislature Will Decide
Governor Scott acknowledges that he can only make recommendations for the state budget. It’s up to state lawmakers to pass his proposal.
Last year, the House killed his initiative to leave local property tax rates stable, allowing school districts to collect increased revenue stemming from rising values. Lawmakers felt that additional funds generated via increasing property values amounted to a tax increase and did not support it.
Scott has recommended the same idea to bolster his spending goals; House leaders have reiterated their opposition. Committee meetings are currently underway and the 2018 Legislative session begins in January.