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Tampa Bay region marked for $33M in Florida TaxWatch ‘turkeys’

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Florida TaxWatch, the nonpartisan government watchdog organization, served up its annual list of “Budget Turkeys,” naming almost $178 million in line-item projects part of the $82.4 billion budget passed May 8 by the Florida House and Senate. For the Tampa Bay region, Florida TaxWatch targeted more than $33 million in local projects as individual line items added to the spending plans—usually last minute or in committee — without a thoughtful and thorough budget process. The largest project in the region…

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Rick Scott gets $178M serving of Florida TaxWatch ‘budget turkeys’

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Thanksgiving is six months away, but Friday is “turkey” day for Gov. Rick Scott. Florida TaxWatch, the nonpartisan government watchdog group, released its annual “Budget Turkey List,” of almost $178 million in line-item projects that are part of the $82.4 billion budget passed May 8 by the Florida House and Senate. Budget Turkeys are individual line items added to the spending plans—usually last minute or in committee — without a thoughtful and thorough budget process. A “Turkey” label does not…

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Sarasota County, Airbnb agree on rental tax collections

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Sarasota County has reached an agreement with online lodging and hospitality company Airbnb for the collection of Tourist Development Tax (TDT) for short-term rentals, a deal that will result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue for the county. The Sarasota County Commission Monday approved the voluntary collection agreement, in which the Sarasota County Tax Collector will begin the reporting, collection and remittance of applicable TDT funds, otherwise known as the “bed tax,” on Airbnb’s short-term rentals and accommodations starting May…

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Joe Henderson: Proposed new transportation agency a good start toward solving an old problem

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Short of hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, the surest way to get a headache is to wade deep into Tampa Bay area transportation problems. You encounter a mishmash of competing agencies and agendas that has resulted in legislative and automotive gridlock for frustrated commuters for years. Given that, I’m encouraged by what is coming out of Tallahassee. A pair of Republican legislators — state Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater and state Rep. Dan Raulerson of Plant City…

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Ed Smith submits enough signatures to qualify for HD 41 race

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Ed Smith has gathered enough petition signatures to qualify for the House District 41 race, the Bartow Republican said Wednesday. “The campaign has got momentum,” Smith said. “I thank everyone who signed a card for me and I have enjoyed meeting new friends along the way.” The former Winter Haven Police officer is the first candidate in the race to qualify through the petition method and is one of three Republicans running for the seat currently held by term-limited Republican…

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Mike La Rosa opens door to possible run for Alan Grayson’s open House seat

in 2017/Top Headlines by

As Alan Grayson launches a campaign for the U.S. Senate, both Republicans and Democrats are floating plans to replace the contentious Orlando liberal in Congress. One such possible candidate, state Rep. Mike La Rosa, cracked open the door on Thursday to a possible run for Florida’s Ninth Congressional District. In a statement, the two-term St. Cloud Republican, whose Florida House District 42 includes parts of Osceola and Polk counties – with many of the same voters as in CD 9 — said…

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