State of Florida Archives: on Tax Reform


Charlie Crist: 2009: temporary $25 average car fee increase

[Americans for Tax Relief, who are supportive of Gov. Scott, released the following press release]: Governor Rick Scott announced plans to make good on his promise of $500 million in tax relief. His latest initiative will save Florida drivers over $400 million; plans for the other $100 million in savings will be announced in January. Scott aims to undo a 54% increase in automobile registration fees signed into law in 2009 by then Governor Charlie Crist.

The 2009 fee hike raised automobile registration fees from approximately $46 to $71, forcing Florida taxpayers to pay an additional $25 on average. Scott recognizes that taking money out of the pockets of Florida's families is the wrong approach to expanding Florida's economy.

Crist says he's glad that Governor Scott got on around to rolling back the fees, and that they were never meant to be permanent.

Source: Americans for Tax Reform on 2014 Florida Governor race Dec 16, 2013

Rick Scott: $500 million in automobile fee & tax relief

Governor Rick Scott announced plans to make good on his promise of $500 million in tax relief. His latest initiative will save Florida drivers over $400 million; plans for the other $100 million in savings will be announced in January. Scott aims to undo a 54% increase in automobile registration fees signed into law in 2009 by then Governor Charlie Crist.

The 2009 fee hike raised automobile registration fees from approximately $46 to $71, forcing Florida taxpayers to pay an additional $25 on average. Scott recognizes that taking money out of the pockets of Florida's families is the wrong approach to expanding Florida's economy.

Crist says he's glad that Governor Scott got on around to rolling back the fees, and that they were never meant to be permanent.

Governor Scott has been busy cleaning up the mess that Crist left behind. In the three years he's been Florida's chief executive, Scott has cut taxes over twenty times.

Source: Americans for Tax Reform on 2014 Florida Governor race Dec 16, 2013

Connie Mack IV: Litmus test: Voting for higher taxes means it's time to go

Mack accused Nelson of chronic tax-raising: "Bill Nelson voted for higher taxes 150 times--150 times!" Mack continued, repeating a claim PolitiFact Florida rates False. "I've got a simple litmus test: If you voted for higher taxes 150 times, it's time for you to go."
Source: Tampa Bay Times on 2012 Florida Senate debate Oct 18, 2012

Charlie Crist: Best to extend all tax cuts; but compromise and push later

Obama favors extending the Bush tax cuts only for households earning less than $250,000, about 98% of all taxpayers. Rubio argued, "There's a difference between compromise and cutting a deal," Rubio said. "Compromise is a good thing. Cutting deals in Washington, there's too much of that."

Meek defended Obama's economic strategy. "There were surpluses," he said. "There are no longer surpluses. So we're digging a deeper hole. And what Rubio and also Crist are representing, let's continue to dig, and trickle-down economics will work for the middle class in creating jobs."

Crist, running as an independent, straddled the positions of his rivals, supporting a compromise on the tax cuts. "I want all the tax cuts extended, but sometimes you've got to give relief to the people and they deserve it now," Crist said. "If there's a way to go ahead and do that in the short term and then after January to push for the other tax cuts, that's what I think the real solution is."

Source: Business Week coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate Oct 25, 2010

Kendrick Meek: Bush tax cuts killed surpluses; no more trickle-down

Rubio ruled out any compromise that doesn't extend all the Bush-era tax cuts enacted in 2001 & 2003, which are due to expire on Dec. 31. Obama favors extending the tax cuts only for households earning less than $250,000, about 98% of all taxpayers. Rubio argued that anything short of extending them for all Americans, poor & wealthy alike, would amount to a tax increase at a particularly vulnerable time.

Meek defended Obama's economic strategy, including the stimulus of 2009, as "dealing with the cards we were dealt" by the previous administration and the economic crisis that reached its peak in the fall of 2008. He said the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 were designed to be temporary and shouldn't be extended for the most-well-off Americans. "There were surpluses," he said. "There are no longer surpluses. So we're digging a deeper hole. And what Rubio and also Crist are representing, let's continue to dig, and trickle-down economics will work for the middle class in creating jobs."

Source: Business Week coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate Oct 25, 2010

Marco Rubio: No one should pay higher taxes in recession, not even top 2%

The tax-cut issue, revolving around whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts scheduled to expire at the end of 2010, demonstrated the different stances of each candidate. Pres. Obama calls for extending the tax cuts to everyone making up to $200,000 a year, or $250,000 for families, which is 98% of the population. The rates on income above those figures would return to higher levels of the 1990s under the Obama plan.

Rubio insisted all the tax cuts should be extended, saying no one in America should pay higher taxes at a time of high unemployment and sluggish economic growth. "It's a bad time to raise taxes on anybody," Rubio said. "The only way to improve the economy is by growing the economy and fiscal constraint, and you have to do both."

Crist said that position showed Rubio's inability to break from rigid ideology. While Crist advocated a compromise, Meek backed the Obama position.

Source: CNN ElectionCenter coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate Oct 24, 2010

Marco Rubio: Extend Bush tax cuts, even for high earners

There were obvious differences between Meek and Rubio. Meek supported the economic stimulus package and said it kept the country from going into a depression; Rubio said it was a failure. Meek said he would vote for the health care overhaul again and Rubio said it should be repealed. Meek wants to continue President George W. Bush's tax cuts for all except those who make more than $250,000, Rubio wants them extended for all earners.

"You think government creates jobs," Rubio said to Meek, cutting him off.

"No, I don't," Meek said.

"You do," Rubio said.

"I think tax cuts for small businesses create jobs and incentives for local communities to move forward," Meek said.

Crist added, "What you just witnessed is the problem and the reason I'm running as an independent. These two guys are going at each other because one's the Republican right, one's the Democratic left. What's true is there are good things that both parties can present to the future of our country."

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Florida Senate Debate Oct 6, 2010

Rick Scott: Reducing property tax by 1 mill saves $142 per homeowner

The property tax burden is Florida's #1 tax problem. I will tackle this problem head on--not impose "band-aid" solutions that provide temporary relief to one group of people: Reduce the statewide property tax (RLE) by $1.4 billion (from 5.29 mills to 4.29 mills, a 19% reduction in RLE). Savings from other key components of my 7 step plan will be used to replace those funds so not $1 is shifted away from our schools. A 1 mill reduction results in approximately a $142 savings for the average homeowner
Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website, rickscottforflorida.com Aug 19, 2010

Jeff Greene: Repeal Bush tax cuts, exempting small business

The candidates sparred over the tax cuts backed by President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003. While both candidates said they support the repeal of those tax cuts, Greene said he will exempt small businesses.
Source: 2010 Florida Dem. Primary Debate, in Sunshine State News Aug 11, 2010

Charlie Crist: Extend the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers

Crist said extending the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers would help boost home sales in Florida. "I think any time you can reduce taxation in order to spur the economy forward, that's a good thing to do and that would be great to do," he said.
Source: CNN "State of the Union" on 2010 Florida Senate debate Jul 22, 2010

Marco Rubio: 2000: $4 surcharge to cruise tickets to fund Marlins stadium

Before the March 2000 session, Rubio was hardly the scorching conservative who would later woo Tea Partiers nationwide. He said he'd focus on supporting early education and community policing. And he wasn't particularly passionate about cutting spending. In his first three years, he supported adding a $4 surcharge to cruise tickets to fund a Marlins stadium and a $1.2 million earmark to build new bike paths in his district.
Source: Miami New Times coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate Jul 22, 2010

Charlie Crist: Reduce the tax brackets to let private enterprise flourish

CRIST: As it relates to taxes, as somebody who believes that we need to reduce the tax brackets, we need to reduce the income tax, in order to have private enterprise flourish--we have to do that because I think that we have an obligation to have this dream called America continue to be able to prosper. We've done that in Florida. In fact, I signed into law the largest single tax cut in the history of my state. Let me talk about my opponent and what he did on taxes. He proposed the largest tax increas in the history of my state, about a $9 billion increase in taxes. He said it would be some kind of a swap and that justifies it. But it would have hit sales tax, which would have been the most regressive tax that you could imagine--in other words, meaning that people who can least afford it have to pay the same as people who can afford a lot more.

RUBIO: That program would have eliminated property taxes for all sorts of people. And it was supported by Jeb Bush.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Charlie Crist: 2006: Pledged no taxes; 2009: $2.2B in fees on 16M people

Q: When you were running for governor in 2006, you made a George H.W. Bush pledge, you will not raise taxes as long as you're governor. Last year you signed a $66 billion state budget that had a $2.2 billion increase in new taxes and fees. Didn't you break your promise?

CRIST: No, I don't think I did, and I'll tell you why. The only part of it that was a tax--and it's loosely defined as a tax--was on cigarettes. And I would argue that that's a user fee. If you don't use them, you don't pay it.

Q: But you also signed into law higher fees on drivers' licenses and on motor vehicle registration, motor vehicle tags. You said these aren't broad-based taxes. Governor, 16 million people are drivers in Florida. That's a pretty broad-based tax, isn't it?

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Marco Rubio: Proposed to replace property taxes with state sales tax

CRIST: My opponent proposed the largest tax increase in the history of my state, about a $9 billion increase in taxes. He said it would be some kind of a swap & that justifies it. But it would have hit sales tax, which would have been the most regressive tax that you could imagine--in other words, people who can least afford it have to pay the same as people who can afford a lot more.

RUBIO: It would have eliminated property taxes for all sorts of people. You said you ran as a Jeb Bush Republican. Jeb Bush supported that plan. And later on, you supported a similar plan.

Q: It would have eliminated the property tax and substituted a state tax?

RUBIO: With a revenue-neutral sales tax.

CRIST: Not revenue-neutral. It would have increased sales tax.

RUBIO: 30% of our sales tax are paid for by non-Floridians. It would have been a massive tax cut for Floridians on their property taxes.

CRIST: To the contrary. It would have been a massive tax increase.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Marco Rubio: Pledged to never raise taxes as state rep

Q: [to Crist]: When you were running for governor in 2006, you pledged you would not raise taxes. Last year you signed a $2.2 billion increase in new taxes and fees. Didn't you break your promise?

CRIST: No, I don't think I did, [because the increases were all in fees].

RUBIO: I took a pledge when I became a state representative to never raise taxes. I never broke that pledge. And that's why the leader of that organization and basically every fiscally conservative group in the country has supported my candidacy.

CRIST: Actually, the speaker has broken that pledge.

RUBIO: The governor has broken his pledge. He broke it last year.

CRIST: No, that's not true. He voted for tax increases when he was on the West Miami City Commission, and he said on his Web site that he has never voted for a new tax. That's just not the truth, and he ought to be truthful to the people of Florida before he asks for their vote.

RUBIO: That's also inaccurate.

CRIST: [The press] just reported it yesterday.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Jeb Bush: Remove Intangibles Tax on stocks, bonds & dividends

Over the course of his administration the Bush legislation produced $19.1 billion in tax cuts. The centerpiece of Bush's tax-reform effort was the abolition of the state's Intangible Personal Property Tax.

When Governor Bush came into office, Florida was one of only a handful of states that utilized some form of an intangibles tax. This tax was levied on stocks, bonds, mutual funds, money market funds, and other such investments. "By design, the tax is aimed at the state's wealthier residents" and in the absence of an income tax was initiated to derive at least some revenue from the personal income of wealthy citizens and corporations. While it was the most progressive of the taxes employed by the state, it was described by the governor as "evil and insidious," "counterproductive and unfair." Governor Bush worked to reduce it in every legislative session between 1999 and 2006, when it was finally abolished. Its elimination accounted for nearly 30% of the tax cuts he initiated.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.102-3 Dec 11, 2009

John McCain: Romney raising fees a quarter-billion dollars is a tax hike

Q: Do you believe Romney raising fees a quarter-billion dollars is equivalent to raising taxes?

A: I’m sure those people that had to pay it did.

Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

John McCain: Opposed to the Bush tax cuts as spending got out of control

I voted on the tax cuts because I knew that unless we had spending under control, we were going to face a disaster. We let spending get completely out of control. Those tax cuts have to remain permanent, otherwise people experience a tax increase. We let spending get out of control. We presided over the biggest increase in the size of government that with--since the “Great Society.” We let it get out of control. I we had had the spending restraints that I proposed, we would be talking about more tax cuts today. We would be talking about more tax cuts. The trust and confidence in our base was eroded. I will restore that trust and confidence because I will restrain spending along with further tax cuts. I’m very proud of my record. If you look at those organizations that grade people, my record is very, very high for a consistent record of being a fiscal conservative. But I’m going to stop the pork barrel spending, and we’re not going to have any more “Bridges to Nowhere.”
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

John McCain: FactCheck: Against Bush tax cuts in 2003; for them in 2006

McCain spoke as though he had always supported Bush’s tax cuts, saying, “I think it’s very important that we make the Bush tax cuts permanent. I voted to make them permanent twice already.”

It is true that McCain voted in 2006 to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. But he was against the cuts before he was for them, and his statements in the debate dismiss that fact. McCain voted against both sets of Bush tax cuts, in 2001 and in 2003. And on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in 2004, McCain stated that he did not support extending all the cuts, though he did go on to say that he would make the so-called “middle class” tax cuts permanent.

McCain is entitled to change his mind. And in fact, his opinions are not necessarily contradictory; he may believe that the tax cuts he opposed should now be made permanent so that taxpayers know what to expect. But his statements in the debate could lead voters to believe that he has always supported the cuts, and that’s simply not true

Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mike Huckabee: FairTax will tax the average American much less

Q: How does that help the 93 percent of Americans who are paying 15% or less right now?

A: They’re not paying 15 percent; that’s in their visible tax in the terms of the takeout from their checks. When you include the built-in tax, the embedded tax in the products we buy that corporations build in, the average American is paying 33% in his or her taxes. It would be a dramatic difference if the taxpayers got to choose the taxes, which they would do under the FairTax.

Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mike Huckabee: FairTax and its prebate untax the poor and the elderly

People would love to see the IRS abolished. The harder you work, the more you earn, the more the IRS and the government wants from you. What the FairTax does is says, we want you to earn; we want you to save and we want you to buy things and sell things and make a profit. It goes to the common sense of the idea that we should encourage people to work and get something for it. A lot of people have never read the entire FairTax because when I first heard about the FairTax, the consumption tax, quite frankly it sounds like it would be oppressive and regressive to the poor. The poor come out best of all because of the provision in the FairTax called the prebate in which every American, each month, is given the amount of the FairTax back up to the level of poverty. Everybody gets it, not just those under the level of poverty. It actually untaxes the poor, untaxes the elderly. It makes sure that we don’t end up paying taxes on groceries and medicine and the basic necessities of life.
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mike Huckabee: FactCheck: To be revenue-neutral, FairTax raises some taxes

In a lengthy exchange, Huckabee praised the FairTax, saying: “For each third of the economy, there is a benefit, about a 14% benefit for those at the bottom; those in the middle, about a 7%; even those at the very top end of the economy end up with about a 5% benefit.”

Huckabee’s claim that everyone will pay less is a fantasy. The FairTax claims to be revenue neutral. That means that it has to collect the same $2.4 trillion that the current system collects. And remember that the FairTax replaces corporate income and payroll taxes. That means that individuals have to pony up to replace those in addition to replacing the sums collected via personal income and payroll taxes.

So Huckabee is suggesting that the FairTax will generate exactly the same revenue while collecting nothing from corporations and still costing everyone less than they are currently paying. We certainly hope Huckabee has a barrel of magic pixie dust buried somewhere.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mike Huckabee: FactCheck: FairTax does not bring underground into economy

Huckabee said about the FairTax, “Everybody gets in the economy--no more underground economy. Drug dealers, prostitutes, pimps, gamblers, non-Republicans--all of those people out there will be paying taxes. Nobody’s working under the table.”

Huckabee’s suggestion that the FairTax will end the underground economy is highly unlikely. It’s true that pimps and drug dealers will now be taxed when they spend their earnings. But will they really charge johns and junkies sales tax on their purchases It’s a better deal for the person buying the sex or drugs, and a worse deal for the person selling it.

In fact, far from ending the underground economy, there is a real possibility that the FairTax will feed it growth hormones. There would probably be two prices--one you can pay with a check or credit card that includes the FairTax and one you can pay in cash & save 23%. Because there would no longer be any audits of income, tracing such tax evasion would be extremely difficult

Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mitt Romney: I support the Bush tax cuts

I support the Bush tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts helped get our economy going again when we faced the last tough times. That’s why right now, as we face tough times, we need to have somebody who understands, has the private sector, the business world, the economy in their DNA. I do. I spent my life in the private sector. I know how jobs come & how they go, and I’ll make sure that we create more good jobs for this nation. One way to do that is by holding down taxes & making those tax cuts permanent.
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Rudy Giuliani: Reduce the capital gains tax, permanently

Q: You’ve in the past supported a wide array of tax cuts. Do you think it’s a mistake that they’re not in Bush’s economic stimulus package?

A: I think this package, for what it does, is okay, and I would support it, but it doesn’t go far enough. I think in the face of what’s been going on, which obviously is a matter of serious concern, we should be very aggressive. [I support] legislation introduced that would be the largest tax reduction in American history. It would take the Bush tax cuts, make them permanent, reduce the corporate tax, reduce the capital gains tax, reduce taxes on those things that would allow business to see America as more competitive. And you almost don’t have a distinction any longer between temporary and permanent in the kind of an economy that we live in.

Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Duncan Hunter: Would be wrong to pledge never to raise taxes

Q: Would you promise to the people watching this right now, that you will oppose and veto any efforts to raise taxes as long as you’re president?

A: I probably voted for more tax cuts than anybody here; but, I think it would be wrong to say, “Absolutely, I would pledge to Grover Norquist that I would never raise taxes.” Could have a national emergency.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

John McCain: We need a simpler, fairer tax code, but not FairTax

Q: Do you support the elimination of the federal income tax in favor of a national retail sales tax, also known as the FairTax?

A: I do not, and I think we should look very carefully at it. Obviously, we need a simpler, fairer tax code. If Congress can’t fix the tax code, give me the job and I’ll fix it.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Ron Paul: I have never voted for a tax increase; and never will

Q: Would you promise to the people watching this right now, that you will oppose and veto any efforts to raise taxes as long as you’re president?

A: I have never voted for a tax increase; never will. But the tax issue is only one-half of it. You can easily pledge not to raise taxes, but you have to cut spending.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Tom Tancredo: Promise to oppose any efforts to raise taxes

Q: Would you promise to the people watching this right now, that you will oppose and veto any efforts to raise taxes as long as you’re president?

A: Yes. I have the highest rating from the American Conservative Union of anybody. I also have the highest rating from the Americans for Tax Reform.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Marco Rubio: Supermajority vote for any tax increases

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future by Marco Rubio Nov 1, 2006

Betty Castor: Tax cuts must reward people who work hard for a living

Q: Would you support repealing Bush’s tax cuts under any conditions?

CASTOR: Tax cuts must reward people who work hard for a living, not just the wealthy. Tax policy must also reward businesses that create jobs in America, not those that send jobs overseas. I support tax relief for middle-class families like the child tax credit, an end to the marriage penalty and the 10% tax bracket for lower-income Americans. I support tax incentives for businesses that create jobs here at home and would impose tax penalties on companies that ship jobs overseas.

MARTINEZ: Decreasing taxes permanently will permit Americans to save more of the dollars they earn and allow them to decide how to spend their money. As Orange Co. chairman, I was able to cut property taxes by millions of dollars while managing government efficiently and increasing services like after-school care and health clinics. The most important step Congress can take to continue strong economic growth is to make Bush’s tax cuts permanent.

Source: Florida Senate Debate, Q&A by Associated Press Oct 24, 2004

Mel Martinez: Make Bush’s tax cuts permanent for strong economic growth

Q: Would you support repealing Bush’s tax cuts under any conditions?

CASTOR: Tax cuts must reward people who work hard for a living, not just the wealthy. Tax policy must also reward businesses that create jobs in America, not those that send jobs overseas. I support tax relief for middle-class families like the child tax credit, an end to the marriage penalty and the 10% tax bracket for lower-income Americans. I support tax incentives for businesses that create jobs here at home and would impose tax penalties on companies that ship jobs overseas.

MARTINEZ: Decreasing taxes permanently will permit Americans to save more of the dollars they earn and allow them to decide how to spend their money. As Orange Co. chairman, I was able to cut property taxes by millions of dollars while managing government efficiently and increasing services like after-school care and health clinics. The most important step Congress can take to continue strong economic growth is to make Bush’s tax cuts permanent.

Source: Florida Senate Debate, Q&A by Associated Press Oct 24, 2004

  • The above quotations are from State of Florida Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Tax Reform:
  Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)

Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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