Sunshine State Budget Battle

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Tallahassee, FL - Rick Scott campaigned on a pledge to get Florida back to work. It all hinges on cutting taxes - a feat the new governor could find difficult to pull off.

That's because lowering both property and corporate income taxes would only add to the state's budget problems. The lack of federal stimulus money this year opened up one big hole lawmakers now have to fill.

Republican leaders in the state house appear to be sending the message that there's no way they can afford to cut taxes, at least not right now.

On Thursday (1-20), house staffers unveiled new figures showing their estimate of a 4.6 billion dollar deficit. That's a billion more than they had been projecting, but not because revenues are down. It's because they want to sock away an extra billion in so-called 'reserve' money.

The house Republicans appear to be intentionally inflating the deficit to make it more difficult for Scott to get his tax cuts. Now, why would they want to pick a fight with the governor, who, after all, is a fellow Republican?

Well, to cut taxes, you'd have to cut spending on things like roads, parks and schools, and that doesn't tend to be too popular with the people back home.

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