Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

PolitiFact Florida | St. Petersburg Times
Sorting out the truth in state politics

Democratic CFO candidate didn't vote to tax savings

The statement

Loranne Ausley "voted six times to tax your savings."

Republican Party of Florida, in statements on the party's website,

The ruling

The Republican Party of Florida launched a website that it says highlights the liberal tax record of Democratic chief financial officer candidate Loranne Ausley.

"How Costly is Ausley?" the party asked on "Ausley VOTED SIX TIMES to tax your savings. As a liberal state legislator Loranne Ausley has a costly record of supporting higher taxes, bigger government and more wasteful spending."

The website references three bills — HB 21 in 2001, HB 791 in 2004 and HB 209 in 2006 — to make its six-vote claim. The bills match with the years Ausley, a lawyer from Tallahassee, served in the Florida House (2001-2008).

Each bill deals with Florida's annual intangible personal property tax.

The intangible tax, which was repealed by the Legislature in 2006, was a state tax paid on the value of investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, money market funds and unsecured notes. Savings accounts, pension funds, certificates of deposit and 401(k)s were not subject to the tax.

The tax rate was capped at 2 mills ($2 per $1,000 of value) by the state Constitution, but it fluctuated over time. The tax rate increased from 1 mill to 1.5 mills in 1990 and to 2 mills in 1992.

Gov. Jeb Bush began a program to phase out the tax upon taking office in January 1999. Before Ausley took office, the tax rate was lowered from 2 mills to 1.5 mills in 1999, and from 1.5 mills to 1 mill in 2000.

In 2001, Ausley voted twice against measures to lower the intangible tax rate to 0.75 mills and once against a plan to dramatically increase the amount of holdings exempted from the tax. She did, however, vote for a more modest increase to the amount of holdings that could be exempt from the tax. The three no votes all came out of HB 21.

In 2004, Ausley voted in committee against HB 791, which would have phased out the intangible tax over three years. The bill never made it to the full floor of the House.

And in 2006, Ausley voted twice against HB 209, the bill to repeal the intangible tax altogether, once in committee and once on the House floor.

The statement we're checking in this item is that Ausley "voted six times to tax your savings." Now, saying "savings" is a bit broad. The tax didn't touch pensions, CDs, savings accounts and 401(k) plans; it applied to investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

Second, the votes in question weren't for tax hikes. They were against cutting the state's intangible tax.

And there weren't really six of them. The Republican Party is talking about three bills and, really, four votes — a vote to lower the intangible tax rate from 1 mill to 0.75 mill, a vote to raise the exemption amounts, and then two votes to repeal the tax entirely. In each of those cases, Ausley voted "No."

We rate this claim False.

Edited for print. For more, go to

Democratic CFO candidate didn't vote to tax savings 09/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 9:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Joe Maddon: What my time in Tampa Bay meant, and still means, to me

    The Heater

    Editor's note: The Rays next week in Chicago will meet up for the first time with former manager Joe Maddon, who is in his third year leading the Cubs after nine with the Rays. In advance of the Tuesday-Wednesday series, we asked Maddon to share his thoughts in a column on what his time in Tampa Bay meant to …

    Joe Maddon waits to greet B.J. Upton after Upton's home run in Game 2 of the ALCS in 2008 at Tropicana Field. [Times files (2008)]
  2. First WannaCry, now cyberattack Petya spreads from Russia to Britain


    Computer systems from Russia to Britain were victims of an international cyberattack Tuesday in a hack that bore similarities to a recent one that crippled tens of thousands of machines worldwide.

    A computer screen cyberattack warning notice reportedly holding computer files to ransom, as part of a massive international cyberattack, at an office in Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday.  A new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software appears to be causing mass disruption across Europe.
[Oleg Reshetnyak via AP]
  3. Pinellas sheriff's corporal had racist, sexist, pornographic content on his cell phone

    Public Safety

    LARGO — A Pinellas County sheriff's corporal resigned recently after an investigation into an alleged extramarital affair revealed a trove of racist, sexist and pornographic images on his personal cell phone.

    Shawn Pappas, 46, resigned as a training division corporal from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office after an investigation revealed a trove of offensive images and videos on his phone. This photo was taken as a screenshot from one of the videos released by the Sheriff's Office that Pappas filmed while on duty. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine reflects on the news from the Congressional Budget Office analysis that could imperil GOP leaders' hopes of pushing their health care the plan through the chamber this week, Tuesday, on Capitol Hill in Washington. [AP photo]
  5. Review: Dan Auerbach, Benjamin Booker plumb the past for inspiration on new albums

    Music & Concerts

    It didn't take Benjamin Booker long to get lumped in with the greats. The Tampa-raised singer-songwriter's 2014 self-titled blues-punk debut brought widespread acclaim, not to mention an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, a tour with Jack White and sessions with Mavis Staples.

    The cover of Benjamin Booker's new album "Witness." Credit: ATO Records