Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

Q&A: Scott's plane, Bush daughter, tracking trucks

The governor's plane

Does Gov. Rick Scott take a tax deduction (for work or business travel) when he uses his private airplane to travel on state business? And how much will rental car companies save under the governor's proposal to cut auto registration fees statewide?

The Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau chief, Steve Bousquet, has covered the governor for the past three years, so we posed the first part of your question to him.

Bousquet says the governor does not release his tax returns, so it's unknown if he takes a tax deduction for use of his airplane. And while Scott generally does not respond to questions about the airplane use, such as how much he's saving taxpayers by using his own plane, he is not required to, Bousquet says.

The second question was directed to Leslie Palmer, communications director for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, who says she can't tell specifically how much rental car agencies would save under Scott's proposed $401 million reduction in auto tag fees.

The estimated annual savings for each motorist would be $25, according to the governor's office. The state issues about 15 million sets of vehicle registrations each year.

Palmer says: "I can do a run of the number of vehicles that don't have an individual owner listed … but that will just tell you those that may be owned by a corporation — which could be any kind of business registration, not just rental cars."

The Legislature is expected to consider Scott's proposal when the next session starts March 4.

Barbara Pierce Bush

Regarding the Bush twins, I know Jenna is on Today. What happened to Barbara, Jenna's twin?

Barbara Pierce Bush, 32, is the co-founder and CEO of Global Health Corps, which connects young professionals with organizations working to provide and improve health services in African countries and the United States.

She graduated from Yale in 2004 with a degree in humanities. She interned for UNICEF in Botswana and previously worked at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in South Africa and the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. She is on several boards, has worked with the United Nations' World Food Program and is on the U.N. Foundation's Global Entrepreneurs Council.

No tracking USPS trucks

Does the U.S. Postal Service have tracking devices on its vehicles like UPS and FedEx?

There are no tracking devices on USPS vehicles, spokesman Michael Miles told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The Postal Service has more vehicles than both UPS and FedEx combined, so equipping each of them with tracking devices would not be practical," he said. "Unlike its competitors, many postal deliveries are made on foot."

Compiled from Times and wire reports. To submit a question, email [email protected]

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