STHE FLORIDA SENATE
o i A 14420 NORTHWEST 60TH AVENUE COMMITTEES:
|. MIAMI LAKES, FLORIDA 33014 EDUCATION,
i 305/821-1137 558-8071 Chairman
IF y RULES AND CALENDAR
44 WAYS AND MEANS
SENATOR D. ROBERT GR AM Subcommittee B, Chairman
February 3, 1976
TO: Dean Robert Lanzillotti
Dr. John DeGrove
FROM: Bob Grahami6
RE: Florida Economic Development Commission
Of all the concerns about the inadequacy of public policy to relate
to our current economic, public services, and revenue doldrums, the
most distressing is the absence of any initiative to move forward with
the formulation of such policy. Ideally, this initiative should come
from the executive branch but, failing that, I am considering legis-
Slatio or a statutorily created commission, to make its report to
te 98and 1978 legislatures and the 1978 Constitutional Revision
The objectives of this commission would include:
1. An assessment of the current and projected state economic
conditions until 1985.
2. An assessment of the economics of various levels of public
services, e.g., basic, continuation of current level, national
average, and excess of national average, and the economic
implications of each level.
3. Special assessment of capital outlay needs by state and
local governments. (Attached is an initial aggregation of
estimated capital outlay, prepared by the Senate Ways and
Means Committee in December, 1975).
4. An assessment of current revenue projections against the
various levels of operating expenditure and capital finance
5. Recommendations on state policies for economic development and
the provision of revenue necessary to finance the service
levels and capital outlay commitments.
DEMPSEY J. BARRON
ALAN TRASK JOE BROWN
President Pro Tempore Secretary
JOHN D. MELTON
Sergeant at Arms
Dean Lanzillotti 0
Florida Economic Development Commission f
February 3, 1976
The commission should be composed-f 15 persons, 9 of whom would
be selected by the Governoad three each by the President of the
Senate and the Speaker ofthe House. The Governor's appointees
would include represent tion from the following groups: economists,
public administration, large and small business, organized labor,
agriculture The legislative appointees would be unstructured,
u wou be citizens rather than legislators.
Based on the experience of the Governor's Commission on Education,
I would recommend an annual budget of $100,000 for this commission.
An interim report to the Governor and legislature would be required
on February 1, 1977 and 1978, with a final report, which would
include recommendations for the constitutional revision commission,
and could assess gubernatorial and legislative response to the
interim reports on August 1, 1978.
I am anxious to begin the preparation of a bill for introduction
on this subject. I will be meeting with Dean Lanzillotti on February
11 or 12 in Gainesville to secure his comments. I would appreciate
Dr. DeGrove's calling me with his thoughts on February 6.
Gov. Reubin Askew is not given to
flamboyance, especially at budget time.
But his mood seemed especially grim
this past week as the annual trimming
and chopping began in Tallahassee.
And.with good reason.
State agencies are requesting more
than S3-billion from general revenues
for the coming fiscal year, compared
with the 82.2-billion ceiling on current
Spending. This year's appropriation had
;to be cut hack Fy .$ 4.5-mil!ion to main-
%tain balance with revenues from the slug-
: Askew sees no fiscal rainbows in Flor-
ida's immediate future. He sees, in fact,
the "most difficult year financially since
World War II."
Accordingly, the governor told de-
partment heads: "There is no way the
people of Florida can afford an increase
-of nearly a billion dollars in state spend-
ing. The budget requests must be cut. In
many cases, they must be cut substan-
IT'S TRUE THAT Floridians can-
not afford such an increase in :here t;ibt
times. Besides, agency heads always act
like used car salesmen this time of year.
asking far more than they expect to get.
Then, somehow they always manage to
Jive with the "cutbacks" imposed upon
'them by the governor and Legislature.
In some cases, as the auditor general
later discovers, agencies not only get by
S. by returning
SIf even the barest minimum needs
are to be met, Florida must return to the
unfinished job of tax reform. At the start
of Askew's first term. you'H recall, the
governor launched the first serious
reform of Florida's tax structure in
recent times. The corporate income tax.
a severance tax on minerals and other
improvements were enacted.
Then came times of relative plenty in
.the state treasury and tile reform move-
ment came to an abrupt halt. More re-
cently, in the name of tax relief, the
,movement even reversed itself. Thus, it
was a bit ironic to witness Education
Commissioner Ralph Turlineton decry-
ing the heed for additional school dollars
this past week. when it was he. as a mem-
ber of the Legislature, who joined with
Askew to spearhead the 2-mill rollback
in school property taxes two years ago.
TODAY, Turlington is urging in-
creased taxes on such things as whiskey,
cigarettes' and gasoline to meet educa-
tion netids. llu.,e Speaker Don Tucker
also favors higher "luxury" taxes on li-
quor and cig.irette sales. and we see no
reason twhy the state shouldn't talp this
rel.tlive'.y rtouc hd source in time of
necd. T::.': 'i Tl'icer i-e: pp,sc.id. we also
.like Askew's proposed increase in r;ao-
line t.i, to mict pre 'sing hi;hway and.
mass transit needs rcntrar'y to Turlin4-
ton's prt.,pi>!d. this would continue to re-
on the reduced dollars but waste them as
It's understood from the start, then,
that Askew and Lt. Gov. Jim Williams
will work over the S3.05-billion worth of
requests with scalpel, scissors and
maybe even an ax here and there. So will
But, just as Floridians cannot afford
unnecessary spending during an eco-
nomic slump, they also can ill afford un-
necessary reductions in services. In fact,
with so many johbess, some state services
are more essential than ever.
SFlorida's prisons are overflowing.
The state must in the interest of tax
savings as well as justice continue to
upgrade its rehabilitative and probation
programs. Moreover, the needy and dis-
advar.taed are the hardest hit by the
dual clague of recession and inflation.
and Florida must at least continue its
modest elforts to assist them.
Neither can the state turn its back on
its scheo! children and collopn StMlnl.o :
nor can it ignore its aging, its mentally or
physicai;.v ill.;SLiate mpluyes, h.pii;.-ed
last year. are prope:iv pressing for a pay
raise. Promotersofa broader-based Fior-
ida economy are urging greater invest-
ment in economic development.
SO THE TASK of establishing
spending priorities and meeting real/
needs is indeed imposing. .
-to tax reform
strict gas taxes to transportation pur-
BUT 'FIRST priority on the reve-
nue s;de of the ledEer clearly should be
repeal of the S4G.5-miliion rebate that
Florida so cencrously gives businesses
for collecting sales taxes. States are un-
der no lee=l obli-ation to compensate
merchants fur collecting the s u.;z tax.
The U.S. Supreme Court has Inr.n held
that "to make the distributor the t".x col-
lector of the state is a familiar and sanc-
Many states give no rebates. Other
states have cut such reb.tes in recent
years. Florida is among only a hancitu! of
states that allow auto dealers, depart-
if.nt stores. restaurants, cery stores
and other merchants to keep'3 per cent
of the sales taxes they collect.
Repeal of this giveaway was part of
the governor's original reform package
hut was dropped and forgotten wnen
Floriia's economy turned bright end.
--v. Put last spring, the days oft wine
ar.n surplus were over and A.,kew pro-
poied the relmat repeal once more. The
Florida Retail Feds r.zoiu; applaud-:d the
L.,-:.iatt.re when it determined the
r.:orm till wasn't netd'id and buried it
TI!IS YEAR the money is clearly
n,-redd and it's time to give the people
reason to applaud.
et. Vrtrsburn ts 0-ci ':. i: i-n
"The policy of our paper is cery simple mnrely to tell the truth."
Paul Poynter, publisher, 1912-1950
2-0 SUNDAY. JANUARY 11. 1S76
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