Fasano on tax and fee increases

05/15/09 Seán Kinane
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As part of his run for the U.S. Senate, Governor Charlie Crist signed a pledge promising no new taxes yesterday. His main Republican primary opponent Marco Rubio also signed the Americans For Tax Reform pledge.

Some analysts are wondering whether that means the governor will veto parts of the recently-passed state budget, which includes a dollar-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes and many new or increased fees.

WMNF spoke this afternoon with State Senator Mike Fasano, a Republican from New Port Richey, and asked whether he though the pledge means that Governor Crist would veto tax and fee increases in the budget.

“No, I don’t think so, Sean. I think what the governor signed, as I did, was something that opposes a state income tax; that opposes increasing the sales tax.”

The chair of the Florida Transportation Commission sent a letter to Governor Crist on Wednesday urging him to “veto the sweep of over $120 million from the State Transportation Trust Fund.” Senator Fasano is the head of the Senate's transportation and economic development budget committee.

WMNF asked Fasano if he thinks that Crist should veto that part of the budget. "I hope the governor will look at it closely. ... I’m not going to encourage the governor to veto anything or not veto anything regards to the sweep. But I hope he’ll take a good look at it because I believe that those dollars are there for the sole purpose -- the sole purpose -- of road projects. ...I don’t disagree with [what] the Transportation Commission has done, and of course the final decision will be up to the Governor."

Crist received the budget today and has until May 30 to make any line-item vetoes.

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