The Florida Legislature passed HJR 2053 during the 1994 regular session, placing a constitutional amendment to limit state revenues before the voters. It was approved in November of 1994. As amended, subsection 1(e), Article VII of the Florida constitution, places a limit on the rate of growth in state revenues, restraining such growth to no more than the growth rate in Florida personal income over a specified period. In any year, the revenue limit is determined by multiplying the average annual growth rate in Florida personal income over the previous five years by the maximum amount of revenue permitted under the limitation in the previous year. In the first fiscal year of the limitation (Fiscal Year 1995-96), the limit was based on actual revenues in Fiscal Year 1994-95.
State revenues collected for any fiscal year in excess of the limitation are to be transferred to the Budget Stabilization Fund until such time that fund reaches its maximum balance (10% of general revenue collections in the previous fiscal year) and then are to be refunded to taxpayers as provided by general law. The Legislature, by a two-thirds vote of the membership of each house, may increase the allowable state revenue for any fiscal year. Such an increase must be in a separate bill containing no other subject and must set forth the dollar amount of the increase.
State revenue is defined as taxes, licenses, fees, and charges for services imposed by the Legislature on individuals, businesses or agencies outside of state government. The Constitution specifically excludes from the definition of state revenues the following:
1. Revenues necessary to meet the requirements set forth in documents authorizing the issuance of bonds by the state;
2. Revenues used to provide matching funds for the federal Medicaid program, with the exception of revenues used to support the Public Medical Assistance Trust Fund and with the exception of state matching funds used for elective expansions made after July 1, 1994;
3. Proceeds from the state lottery returned as prizes;
4. Receipts of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund;
5. Balances carried forward from prior fiscal years;
6. Taxes, licenses, fees, and charges for services imposed by local, regional, or school district governing bodies; and
7. Revenue from taxes, licenses, fees, and charges for services required to be imposed by any amendment or revision to the Constitution after July 1, 1994.
The Constitution requires that in the event there is a transfer of responsibility for the funding of governmental functions between the state and other levels of government, an adjustment to the revenue limitation is to be made by general law to reflect the fiscal impact of this shift.
Last Revised: February 27, 2017