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Monday, May 19, 2008

Legislators Couldn’t Raise Taxes So They Raised Fees Instead

During this past legislative session, realizing the growing financial plight of the common citizen, lawmakers were hesitant to raise taxes, even though state revenues were significantly down. In order to not pass any tax increases and still make up some of the shortfall, they eagerly raised several fees.
Specifically these included the traffic fines, fees charged to reinstate licenses after suspension, and the fees paid by landlords seeking to evict dead beat tenants. This is in addition to the widely publicized proposed 6% increase in tuition fees at state colleges and universities.
The additional revenue from traffic violations is projected to increase revenues for the State by over $17,000,000. This will help pay for the wage increase granted to the State Troopers.
Court cost fees were also significantly increased. It will soon be more expensive to be a criminal or to be accused of being a criminal. The higher court fees are expected to increase government revenues by $98,000,000.
The filing fee for a landlord to evict a dead beat tenant will be increased from$75 to $265, and will take a projected $28,000,000 from the pockets of the landlords and place it in the leaking pocket of the State.
If approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Crist, these new revenue generators would be enacted July 1, 2009.

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