St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • In lean year, turkeys stuff budget
  • Customers tell state how utility irks them
  • Court extends killer's long wait for death
  • 'Three strikes' law is out for now
  • Bush says tax reform might hurt business
  • Security measures require hard decisions, leader says
  • Agency moves to reduce woodpecker's protection
  • Education commissioner faces 2nd ethics complaint
  • Bill lays out structure of financial officer post
  • Plans for tribute take high road
  • Legislature briefs

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story

    printer version

    Bush says tax reform might hurt business

    "We are not undertaxed in this state," he says, referring to the McKay tax proposals.

    By TAMARA LUSH, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published January 24, 2002

    "We are not undertaxed in this state," he says, referring to the McKay tax proposals.

    TAMPA -- Gov. Jeb Bush took his skepticism of a state sales tax overhaul on the road Wednesday night, speaking to more than 600 members of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

    "We are not undertaxed in this state," Bush said. "We have enough money to meet our needs if we prioritize. We need to be very, very, very careful going forward about tax reform."

    Speaking at the downtown Tampa Marriott Waterside hotel, Bush addressed Senate President John McKay's plan to give voters the option of reducing and changing the parameters of the sales tax.

    McKay has said Florida's tax system is antiquated, and he wants to give voters the option of reducing the sales tax rate from 6 percent to 4.5 percent. At the same time, McKay hopes to eliminate existing exemptions on some products and services. That way, according to McKay's plan, the long-term stability of the tax will be enhanced because it will be applied on services more than goods, and services are a faster growing segment of the economy.

    Bush told the audience Wednesday to closely watch the tax debate in Tallahassee.

    He cautioned that if there are any tax changes, Floridians "need to be careful that we don't change the business climate."

    He praised the efforts of local business owners and politicians to create jobs, noting that in 2001 the Tampa Bay area experienced the fastest job growth rate in the nation, according to U.S. Labor Department statistics.

    "Florida is in its ascendancy, not its decline," said Bush. "Tampa Bay is leading the way."

    Bush also spent part of his speech outlining his accomplishments and his goals, dryly informing the crowd that although he is running for re-election this year, he was not there "to talk about politics."

    The crowd laughed and applauded.

    Bush said his top priority is to improve children's reading skills, in a state where 47 percent of the state's fourth-graders are unable to read at grade level.

    "If we get it right early, you will see an investment in higher education," he said.

    -- Times Staff Writer Steve Bousquet contributed to this story.

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan

    From the Times state desk