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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Alex Sink wanted to tax our water?



In the anti-Alex Sink TV spot funded by the NRCC one line of criticism seemed to be a head-scratcher: "Sink has supported .... more taxes on water and TV," with text citing a St Pete Times article from 1997 - when she was a banking executive and years away from running for office.

Sure enough, though Sink in 1997 served on a special commission of business honchos appointed by Gov. Lawton Chiles. From our story:

"...The Governor's Commission on Education, which includes some of Florida's most prominent business people, recommended Thursday that the state expand a utilities tax used for school construction.

The 2.5 percent tax, now charged on the gross receipts of electricity, natural and manufactured gas and telecommunication services also would be applied to water, sewer, cable and solid waste utilities....

"It's not going to happen. DOA (dead on arrival)," said state Rep. Rudy Garcia, R-Hialeah, the only Republican lawmaker on the commission who attended Thursday's meeting....

The other co-chairman is Jack Critchfield, chairman of Florida Progress Corp., and a Republican.

Together, they lead a group of business leaders, parents and educators that represents a potent lobbying force. Among the members are Richard Nunis, chairman of Walt Disney Attractions; Stewart Turley, chairman of Eckerd Corp.; Alvin R. Carpenter, president of CSX Transportation; and Alex Sink, president of Florida Banking Group for NationsBank....

David Bergstein of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee responds: 

“These are the same misleading, Rick Scott-style attacks that have already been rejected by Pinellas residents and independent observers. Newspapers across Florida have praised Alex as a fiscal conservative who cut wasteful spending and opposes new taxes. In fact, the Tampa Bay Times wrote that Alex ‘has no interest in raising taxes and proposes tax breaks.’ It’s clear that national Republicans will say anything to try and distract Pinellas residents from Washington lobbyist David Jolly’s record of making seniors pay more, lobbying for an extreme group that supports privatizing Social Security and praising the Republican budget that ends Medicare as we know it.”

[Last modified: Monday, January 27, 2014 3:03pm]


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