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House's Tax Cut Plans Unveiled in the Capitol

Florida House

The Florida House of Representatives has released its own tax cut plan on the same day that Governor Rick Scott came to demonstrate his own ideas in the same building. The move sets up a clash in the legislature over which taxes should go.

Members of the Florida House of Representatives gathered at the head of a small conference room. Behind them: a projection of a collage that reads #NoTaxIsSafe.

With 17 items on the list of taxes to cut, that hashtag isn’t kidding around. The House plan eliminates at least $15 million more in taxes than the plan proposed by Governor Rick Scott.

Rep. Matthew Gaetz (R- Fort Walton Beach), chairman of the Finance and Tax Committee, is adamant about driving the hashtag home as he laid each item out on the chopping block.

Some say the House’s cuts exceeding the ones in Scott’s plan isn’t a coincidence, that the House is expressing their disapproval with how quickly many of Scott’s tax cut plans are moving through the senate.

Something that may add credence to this theory is the governor’s appearance in the lobby of the capitol building just an hour later, to kick off his “Cut My Taxes week,” an event to promote his own tax cut plan. Rick Scott spent time in the capitol rotunda, reading off people’s communication bills and determining how much they’d save under his plan.

Scott’s booth drew quite the substantial crowd, even attracting the UF mascots Albert and Alberta the Alligators, who stuck around after visiting the capital with their school. They presented Scott with a mock bill, which he happily calculated for them.

“All right, so you’re spending $133 a month in cell phone, is that right?” Scott asked the mascot. “All right. Then how about your… do you have satellite? Cable?”

Many of the items on both Scott’s bill and the House’s intersect, including the communication tax cuts that the governor was demonstrating at the capital. However, the house has yet to file a bill relating to communications.

Rep. Gaetz was asked what message, if any, he was sending to the senate with this plan.

“I think that the Florida senate can find that the house has been faithful to the work plan by presenting today and then ultimately passing a $690 million dollar reduction in taxes.”

Whatever relationship drama is brewing between the senate and the house, all of this does make you wonder…

…Why in the world would alligators need a television, or cell service?

Matthew Seeger began his work in radio in 2012, during an internship he took with WUSF in Tampa. He went on to volunteer at 89.7 FM “The Voice” for several years as a news anchor and production assistant. He began working with the WFSU news team in January of 2015. In addition to reporting the news, Matt is a voice actor, having recorded and produced several creative audio pieces, as well as his own series for V89’s Vox Populi program called “Tales from Hell Creek,”-- a series of slice-of-life vignettes about dinosaurs.