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Florida Senate Blocking White House/Congressional Stimulus Package for Floridians

March 15, 2002

President Bush signed into law on March 9, 2002 an economic stimulus package to speed the U. S. recovery from the recession made worse by the attacks on September 11, 2001 . The federal economic-stimulus bill, which Congress passed Friday, March 8, would allow businesses to speed up depreciation of equipment. Speeding up depreciation would increase tax deductions for corporations and reduce the amount of corporate income taxes paid to the federal government and the state if the Legislature passes a bill to conform the state tax code to the federal. The state adopts a bill each year to track federal law on corporate income taxes. The Senate and House have passed just such a bill with the House giving the bill final approval only yesterday.

Now, the Florida Senate is having second thoughts. This tax relief may “cost” Florida upwards of $200 million in tax revenue for the 2002-2003 fiscal year. The leadership of The Florida Senate has decided that it does not want to allow Florida corporate taxpayers to avail themselves of this tax relief on their Florida tax returns. Regretting their earlier passage of the bill, The Florida Senate is now taking public education hostage. The Florida Senate provides in their budget that if Governor Bush signs or approves of the corporate tax update bill, the estimated $200 million in “lost” revenue will be extracted from the public school portion of their proposed budget. This is political gamesmanship at its worst. The Senate’s claim is simply not true!!! There are dollars available to properly fund education and provide Florida businesses with the benefits of the economic stimulus package.

This is a CALL TO ACTION, requesting that you contact your senator to express your displeasure with the Florida Senate’s position on this issue. This is another attempt by the Florida Senate to extract more tax dollars from Florida businesses. The funding of education and the granting of tax relief in the federal economic stimulus package is not mutually exclusive. Adequate funding for education is a top priority of both the Senate and House, and the issue can be resolved in the upcoming budget conferences between the two chambers. The money is available!!!

Please support President Bush, Governor Bush, and Tom Feeney, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, in their efforts to SUPPORT BUSINESS GROWTH by granting tax relief to Florida ’s corporate citizens. Contact your senator and let the senator know that you want the federal economic stimulus package implemented as contemplated and intended by President Bush, and the U.S. Congress. Contact your senator and let the senator know that Florida’s corporate citizens should be allowed to participate in this tax stimulus package, and that holding Florida’s public schools hostage over this legislation is just plain wrong.

It is imperative that you contact your senator today!!! The legislative session is scheduled to end on Friday, March 22.