Floridians to Be Hit With So-Called Hidden Tax

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Jeb Bush is proud of his tax-cutting record.

Gov. Jeb. Bush says, “We seem to be taxing all the right things because we have a huge surplus.”

But after two summers of hurricanes, every homeowner in the state is about to be hit with a hidden tax. A six percent surcharge on every policy is already being assessed.

The worst is yet to come. Once all of citizen’s 2005 losses are totaled, expect another 10 percent to be added on to your insurance bill.

The assessments will total up to $170 on every thousand homeowners pay for insurance. Democrats in the Legislature are looking at whether the money to cover citizens’ losses should come from a fat state treasury instead of homeowners’ pockets.

Sen. Les Miller, (D) Senate Minority Leader, says, “It’s not fair. Why are you giving away $1.2 billion to some of the wealthiest people in Florida when you are increasing taxes. Not taxes, insurance?”

Among Republicans, only CFO Tom Gallagher thinks the state ought to cover the losses from a three billion surplus instead of burdening homeowners.

Tom Gallagher says, “These dollars are raised unexpectedly as a result of hurricane damage. We should use those dollars to assist people in the assessment."

Jeb Bush, however, opposes using the state's windfall to cancel out the rate hikes. He wants to use the money to lure industry and give other tax relief.

The assessments by the state are in addition to any increases that private insurers are seeking.