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CFO Sink Sends Letter to House and Senate Urging against Fiscal Irresponsibility of Tabor

3/11/2009


 CONTACT:  Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate
                 (850) 413-2842

 
TALLAHASSEE- Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink sent a letter to Senate President Atwater and House Speaker Cretul today voicing her strong objection to the “Taypayer’s Bill of Rights” or TABOR (SJR 1906 and HJR 1263).  In the letter, CFO Sink outlined the negative impact TABOR would have on Florida’s bond ratings, an issue critically important as the state has already been put on negative watch.
 
“TABOR’s near-sighted proposals will hurt Florida’s bond rating, something we can’t afford in these uncertain economic times,” said CFO Sink.  “We need to ensure our state and local governments have more flexibility, not less, to provide essential services and safeguard Florida’s citizens.”
 
Last year, CFO Sink sent a letter to the Florida Taxation and Budget Commission outlining the same concerns when TABOR came before the Commission as a Constitutional Proposal.  As the state and nation’s economy have only become more volatile and unsettled, CFO Sink’s objections to TABOR are all the more significant.
 
A copy of the letter is below:
 
March 11, 2009
 
The Honorable Jeff Atwater
President, Florida Senate
 
The Honorable Larry Cretul, Speaker of the House
Florida House of Representatives
 
Dear President Atwater and Speaker Cretul:
 
Almost one year ago, I sent a letter to the Florida Taxation and Budget Commission outlining my concerns about the negative effect the “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” or TABOR would have on our state.  As Florida faces a difficult and uncertain financial future, I continue to be extremely concerned about the fiscal irresponsibility of TABOR, Senate Joint Resolution 1906 and House Joint Resolution 1263.
 
The citizens of Florida are concerned about the economic crisis facing our state and nation, and are looking for responsible solutions.  The near-sighted proposals found in TABOR are not the answer.
 
Consultations with our state’s financial advisors indicate that passage of TABOR will result in a negative impact from rating agencies, hurting Florida’s bond rating.  Its passage would not only negatively affect our state’s bond rating; it would hamstring our ability to effectively govern during all economic circumstances.
 
With the economic uncertainty of today, state and local governments need more flexibility – not less as TABOR would create – to adequately provide essential services and safeguard Florida’s citizens, especially if a major hurricane were to hit our state.
 
I consider it my responsibility to make sure our state has sound fiscal oversight.  Finding ways to cut waste, increase efficiencies and reduce the tax burden on everyday Floridians is in our common interest and has always been my goal.  Unfortunately, TABOR’s unreasonable fiscal restrictions would hurt Florida’s bond rating and take away the flexibility our state and local governments need.
 
Sincerely,
 
Alex Sink
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida