Stakes are high in card games between NBA's players
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#1 Mar 9, 2008
Never mind the fact that it's all illegal. We need to remember this story next time we hear about the police breaking up a $50 card game at someone's house.
#2 Mar 9, 2008
why dont you report this? from herald
TALLAHASSEE -- The state commission that has the power to put amendments on property taxes and sales taxes in front of voters in November has 51 ideas waiting for a vote -- and one problem: committee members who aren't showing up.
The 25-member Taxation and Budget Reform Commission needs 17 members to put anything on the ballot and has five more meetings to discuss and debate its issues before its May 2 deadline.
Foul weather kept three members from arriving for Friday's meeting, but six others were no-shows, so the debate on the proposed constitutional amendments was canceled.
''Members, you need to be at these meetings because this is where the rubber meets the road,'' said Allan Bense, chairman of the panel, moments before adjourning early because only 16 members showed up.
The commission postponed debate on an amendment that would force the Legislature to review 248 sales tax exemptions on things such as packaging materials, yachts, cell phone towers, Super Bowl tickets, bottled water and farm equipment. Analysts say it could lead to the elimination of dozens of unjustifiable tax breaks and the collection of at least $1.8 billion yearly in additional tax revenue.
Instead, the commission voted 13-2 to urge the Legislature to create a special committee to undertake the review this year.
BIG IDEAS, LITTLE TIME
That is only one in a series of sweeping tax and budget proposals being hatched by the commission after a year-long review.
At its next meeting on March 17, the panel will take up a series of property tax proposals -- from replacing the property tax that pays for schools with sales taxes to making it easier for property owners to challenge their tax assessments. Also on its list are proposals to make it easier to tax Internet sales, give constitutional protection to programs that give state money to religious institutions and enshrine the right to school vouchers in the state Constitution.
The panel, which meets once every 20 years, has met 17 times in the past year, including a series of public hearings around the state. Since January, it has placed two amendments on the ballot: a measure to give the Legislature the power to limit property tax assessments on homes that are made more storm-proof or more energy efficient, and another to give property owners a tax exemption for using their land for conservation.
But time is running out for final debate on the remaining 51 proposals. According to attendance records kept by the commission, they haven't had a quorum in three out of seven of the most critical meetings: when they are taking up constitutional proposals.
''I can't expect 25 members to show up for every meeting,'' Bense said.``These members are volunteers. They've got businesses and families back home too.''
The members of the commission were appointed by House Speaker Marco Rubio, Senate President Ken Pruitt and Gov. Charlie Crist and are given the unique job of reviewing the state's tax and budget system and to put amendments before voters or recommend laws to the Legislature.
The commission decided last year that for a proposal to make it to the ballot, 17 members -- two-thirds of the panel -- must vote in favor. And to even discuss the proposal 17 members must be present.
As a result, any dissent can sink a proposal. On Jan. 18, the commission shot down a plan to change the date of the legislative session because of a single no vote and, because there were only 17 members present, it took a unanimous vote to put the hurricane mitigation tax break on the ballot.
Bense acknowledges that the committee rule is going to make it difficult to get any of the remaining proposals onto the ballot.
''We're stacked up now,'' he said.``It's going to be busy. Seventeen votes is a lot of votes to get something on the ballot when you only have 25 members. I'm optimistic, but we'll see what happens.''
#4 Mar 9, 2008
what does that have to do with the article about all the uneducated and overpaid athletes burning through millions of dollars instead of helping out people back home?
are you going to post that on every single article here in todays paper? what goal do you hope to accomplish? do you think the masses will react in the way you are directing them to? will this posting make you happy? are you telling on them? do you have a rather large personal beef with these people? do you know you sound like a silly little tattle tale whining baby? your message is lost in the length of your post.
#5 Mar 9, 2008
I agree... I took a look at the first sentence of that post, and since it didn't have anything to do with the topic-at-hand, I completely ignored the rest of the post and passed it by. No one is interested.
#6 Mar 9, 2008
I think every team should be required to play poker as it happens to build better rapport & promotes unity. I did not bet on baseball.
#7 Mar 10, 2008
Years ago when they both played for the Pistons Jerry Stackhouse punched Christian Laettenr on the team plane over a card game.
#8 Mar 11, 2008
Sara, stop being a trashy little hater. It's not athletes fault that you don't posses a talent that will allow you make millions. And I have two questions for you, how do you know that these "uneducated and overpaid athletes " are not both gambling and helping out people back home? And who do you help?
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