Last month, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) “unveiled his first budget proposal to make sweeping changes to state government by slashing billions in taxes and spending.” Although the budget — which would lead to thousands of layoffs and gut the state’s infrastructure and education spending — “was cheered by conservative activists and businesses…it provoked a lukewarm response from fellow Republicans in the state Capitol.”
In terms of taxes, Scott plans to “cut $1 billion in property taxes over two years and nearly $1.5 billion in corporate income taxes in the same time frame,” which would involve cutting the corporate income tax rate from 5.5 percent to 3 percent and phasing it out by 2018, among other things.
Of course, these tax breaks are not cheap and Florida is required to balance its budget. So in addition to slashing billions of dollars in Medicaid assistance to the poor, gutting the budget of the Department of Children and Families, and cutting the education budget by $4.8 billion over several years, Scott’s proposal would mean an average annual pay cut for Floridan teachers of $2,335:
Is a $2,335-a-year pay cut for the average teacher worth a $44.72 property tax savings for the average Florida homeowner with a homestead exemption? That’s a key question behind the math that Gov. Rick Scott’s administration is banking on for his pared-back school spending plan as the legislature gears up to begin its annual session Tuesday.
Scott proposes a K-12 budget for the coming year that is $1.75 billion less than the current education budget. About half of that reduction is because the federal government won’t be sending the $873 million stimulus for education that it sent last year.
Floridians do not plan to take this assault on their hard-working middle class teachers lying down. On Tuesday, on the opening day of the state legislature, thousands of Floridians who are part of a larger Main Street Movement plan to hold “Awake The State” rallies in Tallahassee and 26 other cities to urge “state legislators to reject budget cuts and invest in Floridians again.”
Pilotshark writes, “You can put your hands down Mickey, I am not robbing you just the poor middle class.”