The $65 billion-plus fiscal year FY2010 budget Crist signed requires a $1 per pack cigarette tax increase estimated to cost the taxpayers of Florida $2 billion over the next two years. In addition to the tobacco tax increase, the budget requires an estimated $800 million in “fee” increases, many of which are actually mislabeled tax increases. Because of this, in signing the bill, Gov. Crist broke the Pledge he made during his gubernatorial campaign to “oppose and veto any and all tax increases.”
“I’m deeply disappointed Governor Crist broke the Pledge he made to Floridians about how he would govern,” said Christopher Butler, Chief of Staff at Americans for Tax Reform. “The crisis in Florida is too much government spending, not insufficient taxation.”
Americans for Tax Reform offers all candidates for both state and federal office a chance to sign a Pledge to their future constituents that they will oppose tax increases. The gubernatorial Pledge, which Gov. Christ signed several years ago during that campaign, binds its signatories to oppose “any and all tax increases.” The older federal Pledge, signed by Crist for the U.S. Senate race this May 14, applies only to income tax increases. The tighter language of the state Pledge is necessary since many states, like Florida, do not have income taxes.
“Taxpayers are pleased he took the Pledge as a federal candidate,” said Butler. “The last thing people from Florida need is higher taxes imposed on them from Washington DC.”