Patricia A. Lipovsky
plipovsky at cfl.rr.com
Mon Feb 20 12:27:12 EST 2012
Internet Sales Tax Bills Pass in Senate Committees
On Thursday, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved SB 1514 regarding the collection of internet sales taxes. This bill was amended to revenue
neutral meaning that an estimated $450 million would need to be offset in other areas (such as sales tax holidays). As reported previously, the Governor
has stated that he will only sign legislation that is revenue neutral. While the Senate moves forward with discussion on closing a tax loophole to even
the playing field for brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers, the House has not yet discussed any legislation on this subject.
Red Light Camera Bill Stalls in House Committee
On Tuesday, the House Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee temporarily postponed a bill that would modify the way red-light
camera citations are issued. Under current law, when a person is caught in violation of the law a notice of the violation is sent to the registered owners
of the vehicle. The owner has 30 days from the date of notification to pay a $158 fine or he/she will be issued a Uniform Traffic Citation (UTC). If the
registered owner furnishes an affidavit stating that the vehicle was driven by another person at the time of the violation, the owner is not issued a notice
of violation. Instead, the person who was driving the vehicle is immediately issued a citation at a higher amount including the associated court fees and
costs. HB 343 would give the person driving the vehicle at the time of the infraction the same rights as the registered owner. That is, the driver will
be issued a notice of the violation and will have the same time that the registered owner would have had to pay the $158 fine before receiving a more expensive
The Florida Association of Counties correctly anticipated that a strike all amendment would be filed seeking to delete the local share provision of red
light camera revenues by sending the entire $158 to state general revenue. The strike all amendment was filed on Monday but has not been introduced since
the bill was postponed.
A similar proposal in the Senate (SB 590) would have the same effect on the current red-light camera citations law as HB 343. The Senate bill also addresses
specifications for yellow-light duration and standardization which is not included in the House version. SB 590 has to clear two more committees before
moving to the floor.
If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished.
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