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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dems blame R's for tax hike on businesses



That darned federal stimulus and all its implications -- political and practical -- continue to provide fodder for partisan press releases, and thus fodder for blogs such as this one.

The latest: Florida Dems say businesses can blame state Republican leaders for the higher unemployment compensation taxes they now face. The higher taxes next year will be due to the fact that so many out of work Floridians will draw unemployment checks from the state's unemployment fund. (The jobless rate hit 11 percent in September.)

Dems point out that R's in the House could have avoided the higher tax by taking $444-million in federal funds during the spring session. Crist and the state Senate wanted to take the money, but House leaders said no way! That will mean higher taxes. R's, as you know, don't like taxes (unless they're called surcharges,' as in cigarettes...or rental cars).

Crist said today he'll try again to get the Legislature to take the money. And Democrat CFO Alex Sink, running for governor, agrees.

"As our state faces 11 percent unemployment, there’s no doubt that Florida’s families and small businesses have been hit hard, yet last session the Legislature willfully left millions of our taxpayer dollars sitting on the table in Washington," said Sink. "I urge the Legislature to take the steps needed to bring real relief to Florida’s businesses and reduce the impact of this tax hike."

But expect the House the repeat their argument that taking the money simply opens eligibility to more Floridians, and brings the unemployment fund further in the red eventually.

For more check out the correspondence here: Download Skidmoreletter and Download Flaunemploymentletter

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:06pm]


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