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January 18, 2011

TALLAHASSEE — During his first week as governor, charitable and business groups throughout the state delivered a letter Gov. Scott urging that he prioritize eliminating the hurricane taxes on insurance premiums.  The letter speaks directly to the issues associated with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (Cat Fund), citing important information from a Florida TaxWatch report related to the potential shortfalls these state-run entities have faced because of limiting bonding capabilities.

“We all know there is a glide-path to stability our elected leaders can take to better protect the business and charitable organizations throughout our state,” said Barney T. Bishop, III, president of Associated Industries of Florida.  “We hope that Gov. Scott realizes how dire this situation is, and will make eliminating the hurricanes on insurance premiums and reforming Citizens and the Cat Fund a top priority during his tenure as Florida’s governor.”

“Where we encourage new developments in Florida will affect not only the residents of those new homes and businesses but all of us who work and live in this great state,” said Jay Liles, Florida Wildlife Federation Policy Advocate. “Building in high hazard areas that will grow more and more prone to flooding and storm damage is foolhardy and risky, not only to the inhabitants, but for all of us who share the costs associated with higher insurance surcharges.”  Liles added, “In their natural state, barrier islands serve as a great example of the value that undeveloped coastal islands can provide in reducing storm damage inland and in providing recreational lands, wildlife habitat and beautiful landscapes. We need to protect those resources and discourage their conversion for the benefit of the few, at the expense of the many.”

Read the letter sent to Gov. Scott