Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rick Scott tells Tampa crowd economy will flourish with less government and taxes

Gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott chats Wednesday with Teresa and Warren Richmond after a town hall meeting in Tampa, where he discussed insurance, taxes and business development.

SKIP O’ROURKE | Times

Gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott chats Wednesday with Teresa and Warren Richmond after a town hall meeting in Tampa, where he discussed insurance, taxes and business development.

TAMPA — Rick Scott is an optimist.

Florida may have one of the worst economies in the country, but at a campaign stop Wednesday in Tampa, the Republican gubernatorial candidate said its weather, beaches, limitations on unions and lack of an income tax make it ripe to become a mecca for new businesses.

And once he's done slashing state government, eliminating corporate taxes and cutting property taxes, Scott promised, the Sunshine State will lead the country in business growth.

"At the end of four years, everybody will believe this is the state that, if you're going to do business in America, you're going to pick this place, because it has a governor, lieutenant governor and a government that is open for business," he said.

Should state workers worry about his plans to slash billions in state spending, privatize services, ramp up employees' contributions for retirement funds?

"No, you should be excited,'' he said. "It's going to be exciting. They're going to get to do something. They're going to get to say I accomplished something."

Should strapped property owners worry about Scott's plan to remove the 10 percent annual cap on increases for Citizens Property Insurance premiums?

"They should be excited that we're going to have a viable system,'' Scott enthused, dismissing talk of rate hikes. "My belief is with competition, with certainty in the insurance markets, rates will come down."

Scott drew cheers from the crowd at the Embassy Suites hotel, many applauding his status as a longtime businessman.

Scott used to lead Columbia/HCA, but was pushed out before the company paid $1.7 billion in fines for Medicare fraud. No one in the friendly Tampa crowd raised that issue.

A Department of Management Services report found Florida and Illinois tied for the lowest ratio of population to state employees, and Florida had the lowest public employee payroll.

"We already have the smallest and least expensive state government per capita in the country,'' said Doug Martin, with the AFSCME public employees union. That results in long waiting lists for residents in need of services, he said.

Rick Scott tells Tampa crowd economy will flourish with less government and taxes 09/22/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 11:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. North Korean missile launch may be testing rivals, not technology

    World

    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea's latest missile test Monday may have less to do with perfecting its weapons technology than with showing U.S. and South Korean forces in the region that it can strike them at will.

    A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday,. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan's maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]
  2. PolitiFact: Fact-checking Samantha Bee on Florida felonies

    State Roundup

    Comedian Samantha Bee traveled to Florida, where she says "retirees and democracy go to die," to shed light on how the state makes it difficult for felons to regain the right to vote.

    Samantha Bee hosts Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS. Bee portrayed some of Florida’s felonies as not so serious on her show.
  3. For some, Memorial Day comes around more than just once a year

    Military

    ST. PETERSBURG — It is shortly before nine on a Friday morning, and the heat is already approaching unbearable levels at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

    Iles carefully digs up the St. Augustine grass so that it will continue to grow when it is placed back on the gravesite. He tries not to disturb the root base.
  4. State budget uncertainty has school districts 'very concerned'

    K12

    While waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to approve or veto the Legislature's education budget, the people in charge of school district checkbooks are trying hard to find a bottom line.

    It has not been easy.

    The unsettled nature of Florida’s education budget has left school districts with questions about how they will make ends meet next year. [iStockphoto.com]
  5. Ernest Hooper: Removing Confederate symbols doesn't eliminate persistent mindset

    Human Interest

    The debate has begun about removing a Confederate statue from outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse, and its removal is long overdue.

    Robert E. Lee Elementary, 305 E. Columbus Drive in Tampa, originally opened its doors in the early 1910s as the Michigan Avenue Grammar School. [Times file]