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Politics / Issues

Scott Makes Tax Cut Pitch In Jacksonville

Gov. Rick Scott at W. W. Gay in Jacksonville Wednesday
Gov. Rick Scott at W. W. Gay in Jacksonville Wednesday

Florida Governor Rick Scott stopped at a Jacksonville mechanical company Wednesday to rally support for his proposed $180 million tax cut package.

His proposal comes as the state faces budget uncertainty.  

Scott urged supporters at W. W. Gay Mechanical Contractors to pressure lawmakers.

“I hope you call all of them and let them know that you want your taxes lowered and you want to make sure there’s a constitutional amendment that would make it very difficult for a future legislature to raise your taxes,” he said.

Scott supports a proposed amendment requiring a two-thirds majority in the Legislature to raise taxes. Currently tax increases can be passed with a simple majority.

Lawmakers could be working with a tighter budget for the foreseeable future, according to a September estimate by the state’s chief economist.

Although Florida has more than $3 billion in reserves, and sales and property tax revenue is growing, the state is expected to see a budget shortfall in as short as two years — partially because of Hurricane Irma cleanup.

Scott is pushing the tax cuts during his final year in office. Political insiders have widely speculated that he will enter the race for U.S. Senate this year.

“We have the money to be able to cut taxes and have record funding for education. Put the money we would need to into the environment, record funding for transportation, record funding for taking care of our springs — all these things,” he said. “We can do it.”

But the budget situation could get even worse, as Congress has yet to pass a permanent extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program — federal money Scott is counting on in his proposed spending plan. The governor said he’s confident that funding will be allocated.

Reporter Ryan Benk can be reached at , 904-358-6319 or on Twitter @RyanMichaelBenk

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