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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio goes to phone, again, to sell tax plan



House Speaker Marco Rubio held another conference call Tuesday evening to shore up support for his property tax plan. "If voters in your county approve the full 2.5 percent (increase in sales taxes) you will never pay another dime on property taxes on your home. It's that simple," Rubio said, talking to about 2,200 people who visited a Web site funded by the Republican Party.

Earlier Tuesday, Rubio said floor votes would he held next week on the twin proposals. One calls for a statutory rollback and cap on local government tax collection; the other enshrines the changes in the Florida Constitution. Though taxpayers would save billions, the constitutional plan relies on people in each county to approve up to a 2.5 percent increase in sales tax.

One caller, identifying himself as a Miami-Dade firefighter, said county officials are talking about all the cuts they will have to make under the rollback. "I think the problem is they are trying to pit you against us," Rubio replied. The caller agreed. Jeanette, a real estate agent from from Belleair, said, "I definitely concur and agree with your solution."

Others were not supportive. "I hate like hell to go to a regressive tax like a sales tax," one man said, adding that it would mean millionaires would get huge relief. Eleanor from Tampa invoked South Florida resident O.J. Simpson. "I would totally object to a guy like him not paying a dime in taxes." Replied Rubio: "He will pay taxes. He'll pay sales taxes."

"If we get this right," Rubio concluded, "our future will be better."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:42pm]


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