City & County officials accuse Governor Crist of putting out false info regarding property taxes06/19/07 Mitch E. Perry
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City and county government officials are accusing Governor Charlie Crist of deliberately putting out false information in an effort to win property tax cuts. Crist has said that local governments are fighting property tax cuts even when they sit atop $9 billion dollars in reserves. But the Brevard County based newspaper Florida Today quotes some City Managers as saying that reports that the governor's "reserves" are grossly inflated and lump general fund reserves from unspent property taxes with other pools of money, including debt reserves and money for construction projects. Crist's office on Monday stood by its numbers, noting the amounts were pulled from local governments' own financial statements. Cristâ€™s Tax cut campaign is only half over. The biggest part of property tax relief is to be decided in January, when voters will decide a constitutional amendment offering vastly expanded homestead exemptions, while keeping Save Our Homes for current homesteaders who choose it. For example, the paper reports that Leon County lists its reserves at $37.1 million while Crist's office said the county has stockpiled $121 million. Meanwhile, one of the only Democrats representing Southwest Florida, State Senator Dave Aronberg, is predicting that that Constitutional Amendment will go down in flames. (roll tape#1 o..qâ€luke warm at bestâ€)
Thatâ€™s Florida State Senator Dave Aronberg, Democrat from Greenacres.