Wednesday, April 22, 2009

House Republicans Violate No-tax Pledge At Expense of Middle Class Floridians

From the House Dems:

After voting to cut education and healthcare and draining state funds for housing and transportation, several Florida House Republicans on Friday also violated their pledge to vote against increasing taxes.

Twenty-one Republican members of the Florida House signed a pledge to taxpayers created by Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, and in an act of hypocrisy on Friday, those same members voted for almost a $1-billion in tax increases.

Norquist’s organization has repeatedly stated that any increase in a fee that goes into a general fund rather than the cost of providing a specific service is a tax increase.

Floridians will not be fooled by House Republican attempts to disguise their tax-hike votes. The House Republicans who violated their so-called “no new taxes” Norquist pledge include:

· House Speaker Larry Cretul, R-Ocala;

· Representative Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach;

· Representative Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park;

· Representative Jennifer Carroll, R-Jacksonville;

· Representative Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island;

· Representative Clay Ford, R-Pensacola;

· Representative Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City;

· Representative Doug Holder, R-Sarasota;

· Representative Paige Kreegel, R-Punta Gorda;

· Representative Carlos Lopez-Cantera, R-Miami;

· Representative Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland;

· Representative Marlene O’Toole, R-Lady Lake;

· Representative Steve Precourt, R-Winter Garden;

· Representative Bill Proctor, R-St. Augustine;

· Representative David Rivera, R-Miami;

· Representative Julio Robaina, R-Miami;

· Representative Ken Roberson, R-Port Charlotte;

· Representative William Snyder, R-Stuart;

· Representative Baxter Troutman, R-Winter Haven;

· Representative Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka;

· Representative John Wood, R-Haines City.

While Florida House Republican have raised taxes on working Floridians, House Democrats have proposed alternatives that would have balanced the state’s budget without making radical and reckless policy changes.

These Democratic proposals, which Republican leaders have blocked from being debated in the Florida House, include closing tax loopholes for the rich, collecting sales taxes on purchases made over the Internet, and deleting certain outdated sales tax exemptions.

“Republicans apparently think that balancing the state budget by taking money from the pockets of hard-working Floridians is preferable to having an open and honest discussion about alternative revenue sources,” said Representative Ron Saunders (D-Key West), the House Democratic Ranking Member on the Full Appropriations Council on Education and Economic Development.

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