In 2009, the Florida legislature passed a law that allows county and municipal fire departments to reduce property taxes by the same amount generated by a sales-tax increase. Such tax shifts require the approval of voters through a referendum.
Now the Palm Beach Fire & Rescue want to ask the voters to raise their sales tax from 6% to 7% in order to fund needed purchases and maintenance, thus lowering their property taxes.
They are running into a difficulty in that Palm Beach County also wants to raise the local sales tax by a percentage point. This is also allowed by Florida law. All but 11 counties in Florida have a local 1% sales tax.
Nobody thinks it is a good idea to raise the local sales tax by 2 percentage points.
Stay tuned to see who wins the fight over this tax shift.