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Florida's budget woes to worsen listen

11/19/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Florida’s budget woes are expected to get worse. Later this week, state forecasters are expected to announced that the current budget will fall short by as much as $2 billion.

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Alex Sink, has said that the state should hold a Special Session to deal with the worsening crises. New House Speaker Ray Sansome says the state can avoid the cost of a special session by tapping state reserves and dedicating the first two weeks of the regular session to findin...

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Tax law expert says Obama tax plan is sound listen

09/12/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is responding to claims by John McCain's camp that Obama’s tax policy will be bad for Americans.

Darryll Jones is a professor of tax law at the Stetson University College of Law. Jones said his analysis of the tax plans of McCain and Obama makes it clear that more people will benefit under an Obama administration.

“It’s just not true that Senator Obama intends to raise taxes for most Americans. You’ve got to make over a quarter of a milli...

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Hillsborough commissioners say no to slight tax hike listen

07/17/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Some Hillsborough County Commissioners expressed alarm today that their current budget for the next fiscal year calls for a tax increase. So they vowed to their constituents that would not happen.

Eric Johnson, the management and budget director for the county, said the millage rate is going up slightly because the taxable property values have declined. That means the millage is going up enough to actually lead to a slight tax increase. He said that the Commission would need to cut more...

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Advertisers oppose tax-swap amendment listen

07/10/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Today the Tampa Bay Advertising Federation held a luncheon meeting to discuss the tax-swap amendment that will be on November’s ballot. Amendment 5 calls for a 25 percent reduction in property taxes. But local advertisers are concerned that up to $11 billion in new taxes would have to be raised, hurting their businesses.

If Amendment 5 passes, Floridians will no longer pay the Required Local Effort (RLE) portion of their property tax that goes toward funding schools. But the tax-swap ame...

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Tax Swap amendment on November ballot listen

07/02/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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In addition to voting for president this November, Floridians will have the opportunity to vote on several proposed amendments to the state’s Constitution.

Amendment 5 is called the “tax-swap” amendment because it would reduce the property taxes of Floridians in favor of increased sales tax and other taxes.

State Sen. Dave Aronberg is a Democrat from Greenacres in southeast Florida who said he opposes Amendment 5.

The tax-swap amendment calls for an elimination of a tax called...

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Florida Chamber of Commerce honors legislators listen

06/26/08 Concetta DeLuco and Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Florida Chamber of Commerce gathered at the Pepin Hospitality Centre in East Tampa today to discuss victories during the 2008 Legislative session and issues the Chamber will focus on during the upcoming elections.

Brad Swanson is the West Central regional advocate for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He said pro-business groups need to go “on the offensive” to counter other activist groups who have become well-organized and well-funded.

“It is a war that we’re engaged in cur...

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Rays ask tourism board for $100 million listen

06/11/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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The financial plan for the new waterfront stadium proposed by the Tampa Bay Rays hinges on the extension of two taxes, including Pinellas County’s tourist development tax. Today in Clearwater, the county’s Tourist Development Council (TDC) heard the Rays’ request for $100 million.

TDC members were briefed by Assistant County Attorney Dennis Long about the Rays' request to use funds from Pinellas County’s 5 percent tourist development tax, also known as the hotel bed tax.

“The ...

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Hillsborough eyes communications department budget

06/11/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Members of the Hillsborough County Commission today proposed eliminating the Government Television station.

The board is looking at ways to offset $87 million in lost revenue from property tax changes and a slowing economy. The idea of dismantling or severely diminishing the county’s Communications Department, which currently has a budget slightly less than $4 million, was first on the workshop agenda.

Commissioner Mark Sharpe said he wanted the county’s television station to be mor...

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Rays stadium closer to November referendum listen

06/05/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The St. Petersburg City Council today took a step closer to placing a referendum on November’s ballot for a new waterfront stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Council member Leslie Curran asked if the Rays would withdraw their request to be on this November’s ballot, but Rays’ President Matt Silverman said they would not be willing to reconsider.

A St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9 poll released this week said most residents want the issue on the ballot, but an overwhelming majority ...

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Hillsborough loses $87-million in taxes listen

06/04/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Hillsborough County Administrator Pat Bean said today that a lower tax base and reductions in sales taxes will cut the County’s revenues for the next fiscal year by $87-million.

Bean spoke to County Commissioners today, a day before they will seriously examine the budget in a workshop. She said the housing crisis lowered property taxes, but the main reduction came from the implementation of Amendment 1, which roughly doubled the amount of each home’s value exempted from property taxes,...

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