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Rick Scott’s really excited you saved $25 this year

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida’s tax-cutter-in-chief is at it again. After rounding out last week’s “cut my taxes week,” Gov. Rick Scott is now touting his whopper of a tax cut last year.

According to the Governor’s Office, Floridians have saved nearly $200 million since last September when auto registration fees were reduced by about $25 for car owners.

Wow! $200 million is a lot of money! You could sure buy a lot of houses with that!

Well, not really. Because it’s, you know, $25 per car, per year. That can’t buy a house. Not even close. Though, that didn’t stop Scott from gleefully proclaiming it could while touting his plan last year.

Scott has now wisely cut the home-buying delusions from his auto registration fee talking points.

“Families should be able to keep more of what they earn, and that is why we have remained focused on cutting taxes and fees that directly impact all Floridians. Last year, we reduced the fee on vehicle registrations which has already saved Floridians over $196 million since last September,” Scott said. “Reducing fees and taxes helps businesses create more opportunities for Floridians to get a great job and live their dreams. It also helps families have more money in their pockets to pay the bills and put food on the table. This year I am committed to cutting $673 million in taxes, including the cell phone and TV tax.”

Crikey, there’s more? Nearly $700 million this time. Golly.

This time Scott’s awesome tax-cutting proposal will save a little more than $40 per cell phone and cable-using family. The combined tax cuts are putting nearly $100 in folks’ pockets every year! That’s about $8 a month! Think of all the things Floridians can buy.

Let’s see, for $8 Floridians can get a meal from Jimmy John’s once a month. They could buy approximately three bottles of Two-Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s every month. Seven packs of gum are now within reach. How do eight movie rentals from Red Box sound? Two gallons of milk? That should last about a month.

And for the super frugal who are great at saving their money, they’d have a whopping $100 at the end of the year to play with. Dinner and a movie for two anyone? Steak dinner at Ruth’s Chris? A couple of pairs of shoes?

Rick Scott does a really great job (or his talking heads anyway) of making $25 and $43 tax cuts sound amazing by lumping them all together into one massive tax break.

Look at the hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars that will be put back into the economy by giving Floridians some of their hard earned money back!

Sure, renewing auto registration is a lot less burdensome when it’s cheaper, but how many people really even remembered the difference between what they paid last year versus what they paid this year?

And that dollar or two knocked off the cable bill every month, how much of a difference in spending power could that really make?

The bottom line is, $200 million in the hands of the government goes a whole lot further than saving $25 once a year. I bet a search through the couch cushions and car crevices once a month could come close to bridging that gap.

That $200 million could get the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority the funding it needs to turn dirt on the Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit pilot it hopes to implement.

It could go a long way in funding a new stadium to keep the Rays in Tampa Bay and, thus, Florida.

It could help fund mental health services to reduce homelessness.

It could increase vocational programs to get more people ready for jobs.

But I’ll enjoy my once monthly Big John compliments of Rick Scott and his “taxes are bad, mmmkay” mentality.

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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