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Florida lawmakers asks what's in a name? A tax

Legislators might relabel fees, surcharges, levies on some items as 'taxes'

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Legislators might relabel fees, surcharges and levies on items from cigarettes and driver’s licenses to rental cars and business certifications as “taxes,” under a proposal by House Ways & Means Chairman Bryan Avila, R-Miami Springs.

Avila said Tuesday the intent of the proposal is for governments to be more transparent with the currently “mislabeled” charges.

“The way these levies are presented to the public are often not as transparent or truthful as they could be as to the true nature of the charge,” Avila said.

Among the targets of Avila: a $1-a-pack surcharge on cigarettes; business filing fees; a $2-per-day rental car surcharge; a $1 fee on the disposal of waste tires; a $1.50 fee for vehicle and vessel batteries; a $225 fee to register cars and trucks; driver’s license fees; and numerous motor vehicle surcharges.