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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio deplores property tax on national TV

ABC's Nightline tackled Florida's property tax debate Wednesday in a segment that prominently featured House Speaker Marco Rubio.

"Usually people come to Florida to run away from the hassles, the cost of living of where they were from," Rubio said. "And now they're telling us, 'You know, this is starting to look like the place that I came here to get away from,' and that's not the kind of talk we want to hear."

Rubio was shown in a Miami restaurant talking with property owners, then in a sit-down interview with reporter Chris Bury. "I think the property tax is a horrible way to tax people," Rubio said as Bury described the legislator's unsuccessful attempt to trade taxes on primary homes for higher sales tax.

The screen cut to a shot of Rep. Jack Seiler in debate on the House floor. Seiler, D-Wilton Manors, held up a copy of Rush Limbaugh's tax information to make a point that wealthy homeowners would stand to save hundreds of thousands under the tax swap. Also featured, Broward County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish.

It was Rubio's second national television interview on the tax issue. He previously appeared on PBS.

Postscript: Rubio's ties to Nightline date to his childhood. In an interview with the Times earlier this year, he recalled watching the Iran hostage crisis on TV. "In fact, that's when Nightline was started," he said, correctly placing the show in history.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:50pm]


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