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Florida Chamber poll shows wide support for cable and cell phone tax cut

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A new poll shows Floridians want a tax cut that would save them money on their cell phone and cable bills. Earlier this year Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced a plan to cut $470 million in taxes on those services.

The cut would save the average Florida family who spends $100 a month on cable and cell service about $43 a year.

A Chamber of Commerce poll released Monday shows 70 percent of those polled support the tax while only 15 percent oppose it. The remaining 12 percent were unsure.

The Florida Chamber Political Institute poll was conducted among 605 likely Florida voters.

“Lowering the cost of living and the cost of doing business through targeted tax reforms is a top priority of the Florida Chamber of Commerce,” said Marian Johnson, senior vice president of the Florida Chamber Political Institute. “Clearly, voters agree with Governor Scott and the Florida Chamber that lowering cell phone and cable TV taxes will put money back into the pockets of Floridians and help make Florida more competitive.”

The poll is released as members of the Florida Legislature head back to Tallahassee for a Special Session to hash out a new budget. The House adjourned early amid a budget impasse over health care.

The Florida Senate wants to fund a gap in funding for uncompensated care by accepting federal money tied to Medicaid expansion. The Florida House had proposed using state funding.

The $470 million tax cut will be determined in a final budget.

Of those polled, 42 percent of Floridians said they thought things were going well in Florida while 42 percent said the state is headed in the wrong direction. The Chamber notes there have been 865,000 private-sector jobs created over the last five years and the state’s unemployment rate is down to 5.6 percent.

Another 40 percent of those polled indicated they thought they were financially better off this year than they were last year. That represents a jump of eight percentage points from last year

The top three issues identified among Florida voters by the Chamber poll are jobs and the economy, heath care and education. Nearly 20 percent of respondents identified jobs and the economy as the top priority. That number is down 10 percent from last year.

Another 17 percent indicated health care as a priority with 16 percent saying education is a top priority. Other issues identified as important by voters were balancing the state budget and focusing on crime and immigration.

The poll was conducted May 14-20 using live telephone interviews of those considered likely voters. The sample size used 64 percent land line users and 35 percent cell phone users. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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