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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Talking taxes in Orlando



Gov. Jeb Bush cut taxes by more than $15-billion over two terms in office, but you haven't seen anything yet, say Republicans vying to succeed him. Not so fast, say the Democratic candidates for governor, who want to roll back tax cuts.

Tom Gallagher and Charlie Crist at a candidate forum in Orlando on Saturday promised to continue slashing taxes and suggested local governments and school boards should make do with less money. He and Gallagher both want to let Floridians keep their "Save Our Homes" tax cap when they move. Crist also wants to double the homestead exemption to $50,000, while Gallagher proposes to extend the tax cap to commercial and nonresidential property.

But it was a far different story when the Democrats running for governor, Jim Davis and Rod Smith, had their forum immediately following. They argued that few Floridians have benefitted from or felt most of the tax cuts in recent years. While Republicans regularly win elections by casting Democrats as chronic tax raisers, Smith and Davis contend Floridians would rather see investments in schools, roads and other needs.

-- Adam Smith

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:05pm]


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