A bigger priority than reducing corporate income taxes? Reducing those 2009 fee increases for drivers licenses, vehicle registrations and other motor vehicle fees.
That’s according to the Senate’s budget chief, Sen. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales. Rolling back those fees would be worth nearly $500 million over two years. “I don’t know if we could roll all of that back,” Alexander told reporters after today’s Senate budget committee meeting. “We’ve had a number of senators here the last couple of days (who) have pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey J.D., in all this discussion, couldn’t we consider at least rolling back some of those fees and giving people relief?’ We’ll be discussing that with our colleagues in the House.” Rolling back those 2009 legislature-approved fees is also part of Gov. Rick Scott’s budget proposal. But Scott also wants to reduce the corporate income tax rate, which would save those who pay the tax $459 million this year and a little more than $1 billion in 2012-13. Alexander said the idea may have merit but it’s less likely than rolling back some of those motor vehicle fees. He said the people have spoken on that one. “I would tell you most senators are hearing from constituents the more important issues are the tag fees and the title fees,” he said. Alexander cautioned, however, it isn’t clear whether the state could afford to roll back those fees just yet.