House Dems taunt GOP with income tax and Arethaby John Kennedy | April 7th, 2011
House Democrats pull out the income tax bogeyman and evoked Aretha Franklin in arguing against making public employees pay 3 percent of their income to take part in the Florida Retirement System.
Rep. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, thanked ruling House Republicans for their anticipated support for what he hinted was a tax that will backfire on the majority party in next year’s elections.
“Everybody who pushes the green button is voting for a tax, and the Democratic Party thanks you,” Clemens said.
House Democratic Leader Ron Saunders of Key West sought to have the legislation (CS/HB 1405) ruled in violation of House rules, because it’s a bill — but should be a ballot proposal if lawmakers are seeking to enact an income tax. Saunders also told Republicans they should remember the lyrics of Aretha Franklin.
“You better think,” Saunders said, but refraining from song. “Think. Think about what you’re doing to me.”
After a brief huddle and a rule-book review, Rules Chairman Gary Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral, decided against Saunders’ motion. Aubuchon said any questions about the constitutionality of the pension contribution would be for courts to decide.