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Dominic M. Calabro

Personnel note: Anita Mitchell joins TaxWatch

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Anita Mitchell of West Palm Beach’s The Mitchell Group has joined Florida TaxWatch as Corporate Vice President, the government spending watchdog announced. “She will be a leader in continuing the non-profit research institute’s growth and success by expanding membership statewide,” according to a press release. Mitchell “is one of Florida’s most respected leaders in marketing and corporate relations,” said Dominic M. Calabro, president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch. “We are thrilled to have her experience and skills on our team to ensure we continue…

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Capitol Reax: Medical marijuana, abortion restrictions, IT security, criminal justice

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Gov. Rick Scott signed a raft of bills into law on Friday, including ones to expand medical marijuana to more patients in need. The bill extends the Right to Try Act to include medical marijuana and also gives assurances to dispensing organizations that have already received a license from the department of state. Susan Driscoll, president of Surterra Therapeutics and managing director of Alpha Foliage, said in a statement: “Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature have helped a lot of…

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Florida TaxWatch: 2016-17 budget includes $104.9 million in turkeys

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Money for aviation and manufacturing programs at Brevard County public schools. Cash for Hillsborough County Fair and the Hardee County Cattlemen’s Arena. They might be worthy projects, but they are also just a few of 143 projects on Florida TaxWatch’s annual turkey list. The 2016 list was released Friday, just one day after Gov. Rick Scott signed the state’s $82 billion spending plan. “Florida TaxWatch commends the Legislature for drafting a balanced budget that meets the needs of many of…

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Today on Context Florida: Sober rhetoric, public records, Florida ports and losing youth

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Today on Context Florida: Chris Timmons calls for sober rhetoric to produce better government. Several weeks ago, business mogul and presidential candidate Donald Trump pledged to “kick the hell of ISIS.” During the New Hampshire primaries, Trump called his fellow presidential contender Ted Cruz “a pussy.” You notice a problem here, Timmons asks. There has been a devolving standard of public substance and decorum. In private, we can expect politicians to use salty, often abrasive language. No one ever said President…

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New TaxWatch internship program honors Ken Plante

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Florida TaxWatch says it’s launching a research internship program for college students, who will assist on projects from “taxation and budgets to education and corrections.” The nonprofit watchdog, based in Tallahassee, received a $25,000 contribution from AT&T to pay stipends to those who are accepted into the program. The internships will be named after the late state Sen. Ken Plante, a co-founder and first president of the organization. Plante, a Central Florida Republican, died earlier this year a three-year fight against ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s…

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Florida TaxWatch talks taxes and Thanksgiving

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As last-minute shoppers scarf up pre-cooked turkey breasts, pumpkin pies and canned veggies for Thanksgiving, it’s not always clear what they’ll pay tax on and what they won’t. No surprise, then that Florida TaxWatch has a quick guide to clue in those hapless supermarket-goers. Dominic M. Calabro, president and CEO of TaxWatch, says his group is “helping taxpayers understand their tax obligations and get a better sense of where their hard earned-money is going this Thanksgiving.” While Florida does not collect…

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Florida TaxWatch study: Losses to other state taxes reduces state revenue from Seminole Gaming Compact

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Any revenue paid to the state through a gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida will be significantly offset by direct losses in other state revenues due to the increased spending on gaming, according to one of the conclusions of the a Florida TaxWatch report, How Much Revenue Will the Seminole Gaming Compact Provide For Florida?: An Analysis of the Impact on Other Tax Sources. The report examines the revenue side of the compact as currently written. In addition…

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