State set tourism record for first half of 2017

State set tourism record for first half of 2017

Governor Rick Scott was in Tampa Tuesday to unveil Florida's latest tourism numbers and he used the Florida Aquarium as the backdrop to his announcement.

If the amendment is passed by 60 percent of voters, state legislators could not pass any future taxes or fees without a supermajority vote.

Scott didn't clarify whether a super-majority means three-fifths of both houses of the Legislature, or the higher two-thirds threshold.

Before Scott pitched the idea in Orlando, he secured the support of newfound ally Richard Corcoran, the House Speaker from Land O'Lakes.

"Now, with the investments made in Visit Florida during this year's special legislative session, we can continue to break records and work toward our goal of 120 million visitors this year", Scott said.

Despite the crises, Scott said Florida's tourism industry has continued to flourish.

It is not clear how much impact Scott's proposal would actually have, especially since the governor did not outline many details, including what exactly would be considered a tax or fee hike.

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Requiring a supermajority vote for tax and fee increases is something done by several other states.

Scott wants to put his proposal on next year's ballot, the same ballot that his name will likely appear on as a candidate for the U.S. Senate. Lawmakers raised the cigarette tax by $1 a pack as well as fees for auto registrations and drivers' licenses, although they rolled them back a few years later at Scott's urging.

Democratic Sen. Oscar Braynon of Miami Gardens called Scott's proposal a "gimmick" that is created to disguise his mismanagement of the state during next year's elections. Bill Nelson, said he also will look next year to add to the more than $7 billion in taxes.

"It's anti-government waste, anti-politician, and anti-pork barrel spending", said Corcoran, who is considering a run for governor next year.

Sen. Jeff Clemens, a Lake Worth Democrat, said a supermajority vote should be required for all tax changes, including tax cuts.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican who is campaigning to succeed Scott as governor, said: "I support his efforts to keep that money where it belongs - in the pockets of Floridians". We cut taxes. We cut regulations.

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