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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Talking taxes -- in Israel

100_5906The place: a dark and busy Moroccan restaurant in the heart of Jerusalem. The menu featured heaping plates of couscous, chickpeas, braised lamb and cornish game hen. At one end of the table Tuesday night sat Gov. Charlie Crist and Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, the House minority leader.

Were they discussing the Mideast peace process? The vexing question of a Palestinian homeland? The need for improved trade between Florida and Israel? No. Naturally, They were talking property taxes at Darna, a restaurant where the Florida delegation in Israel held a welcoming dinner. Halfway around the world, this issue dominates the thoughts of state policymakers like no other. (The dining guest on Crist's opposite shoulder, a member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, surely heard all he ever wanted to know about the homestead exemption).

Crist remains confident a tax-cut agreement can be worked out in the 10-day special session that begins on June 12. For the moment, it's obvious who has Crist's ear on the subject.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:25pm]


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