Rick Scott Property Tax Calculator Ignores Small Fact: Florida Law

Rick Scott Property Tax Calculator Ignores Small Fact: Florida Law

GOP candidate for governor Rick Scott released this pretty snazzy new website on Friday: It's a property tax calculator that figures out a Floridian's tax if Scott gets elected versus Democratic opponent Alex Sink.

There's just one problem with his site: It ignores the Florida Constitution.

Scott's calculator, which is titled "Alex Sink-ing Florida," assumes that his administration would cut taxes by 19 percent. So if you're now paying $1,000 in property taxes, Scott's site promises he'll cut your bill to $810.

But under the Florida Constitution, only local governments set property taxes. State

governments, and the governor himself, have no say in local property-tax rates.

For example, here's the tax bill for Palm Beach resident Rush Limbaugh, who will pay $516,364 in taxes on his $25.3 million home. His bill breaks down those taxes by the levying authorities that can impose property taxes, including the City of Palm Beach, the county, the school district, and the South Florida Water Management District. As Florida law spells out, there is no line for the state government, which has no power to impose or control property taxes.

Scott's spokesman couldn't be reached for comment, but that's typical for the Scott campaign, which hasn't responded to most media inquiries. On his campaign's website, spokesman Travis Burk explained the property tax calculator:

"Even though Sink is trying to portray herself as a pro-growth candidate, her record of advocating higher taxes morning, noon, and night is hardly the approach Florida needs to pull out of our economic slump."

Apparently, Scott would get us out of the economic slump by rewriting Florida's Constitution.

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