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Politics / Issues

Gov. Scott Says Lower Taxes Attract 500 New People Daily

Gov. Rick Scott brought his so-called "It's Your Money" tour to Tampa’s gridiron Thursday. He huddled with supporters and faced off against his critics at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Scott wants to cut $500 million in taxes and fees next year and is touring the state to generate support.

His most recent audience included realtors who want to see him cut taxes on commercial leases and business leaders who hope he’ll trim taxes like those charged on corporate power bills.

But Chris Radulich of MoveOn.org objected to any further tax cuts, saying it makes the state vulnerable if another economic downturn hits.

“The way to go is by investing in the state and its people,” Radulich told the governor during the hour-long session. “Invest in public education, invest in transportation.”

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Credit Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media
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WUSF Public Media
Gov. Scott's Tax Cut Tour roundtable at Raymond James Stadium club level.

The governor responded with a familiar refrain for him, “Well what we’re doing works.”

“We’ve cut taxes three years in a row. We’ve had the second biggest drop in unemployment in the country,” Scott said.

Scott credited his policy of lower taxes with attracting on average 500 new residents daily to Florida.

“Why are they moving here? No income tax, right to work state, low business tax, beautiful weather, expansion of the Panama Canal, gateway to Latin America,” Scott said.

But Radulich responded that the governor was about a half-million jobs short of what he’d promised and the jobs he was attracting were low-wage jobs in the tourism industry.

Florida’s unemployment of 7.1 percent is below the national average; however, its average annual salary ranked 32nd nationwide in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.