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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

PolitiFact Florida: Super PAC stretches truth in attack on Bill Nelson's pasture, tax break



In this TV ad, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is a down-home farmer in denim overalls, wielding a pitchfork and tending to six animated cows.

He's accused of using a faux farm to get out of paying property taxes. The group behind the ad points to a Tampa Bay Times story as proof. 

"After 40 years in politics, Bill Nelson has learned how to milk the system. He leased land that he owned for six cows, taking advantage of an agricultural tax loophole to dodge $43,000 in taxes just last year," says the ad from American Crossroads, the conservative super PAC founded by Karl Rove. "Then he sold the land for home development, pocketing at least $1.4 million."

PolitiFact Florida found American Crossroads stretches the truth about Nelson's family pasture in Brevard County.

The Times documented how Nelson shaves about $43,000 from his property tax bill because his pasture -- home to six cows -- qualifies for a greenbelt assessment. Does that count as a tax 'dodge'? We rated the group's first claim Half True. 

And did Nelson sell the land for "home development" for at least $1.4 million, which would obviously undermine the greenbelt law's goal of conserving farmland? We rated that claim Mostly False

[Last modified: Friday, October 12, 2012 12:45pm]


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