"I delivered to you a budget that ... cuts taxes by $2 billion."
Rick Scott on Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 in his State of the State speech.
Gov. Rick Scott says budget cuts taxes by $2 billion
Gov. Rick Scott asked Florida legislators to pass his proposed budget during his first State of the State speech on March 8, 2011.
It's a budget that cuts spending to balance the budget as required by the state Constitution.
And, it cuts taxes.
"I delivered to you a budget that ... cuts taxes by $2 billion," Scott told legislators on the first day of its 60-day legislative session.
Let's walk through the math of his budget. Scott proposed a two-year budget that cuts a host of taxes and fees. Here's a breakdown from the governor's office. Scott's budget proposal would:
• Reduce the corporate income tax from 5.5 percent to 3 percent in 2011-12 and from 3 percent to 2.5 percent in 2012-13. The rate cut will save those who pay the tax $459 million this year and a little more than $1 billion in 2012-13;
• Reduce the required local effort, a property tax to fund schools, saving taxpayers around $600 million in 2011-12. The tax cut would carry forward in 2012-13;
• Reduce the property tax collected by state water management districts 25 percent for two years, saving taxpayers $180 million annually;
• Reduce unemployment compensation taxes by shortening how long Floridians can collect benefits and making it more difficult for them to be eligible. Scott's office says that will save $630.8 million over two years;
• Roll back 2009 Legislature-approved fee increases for driver licenses, vehicle registrations and other motor vehicle fees. Scott says the rollback would save drivers $492 million over two years;
• And repeal or alter other small taxes on ammonia, pesticides, fertilizer, solvents, dry cleaning, tires and lead acid batteries, among other things. The changes would save $77 million over two years, Scott's office says.
Taken together, that is a total of $1.7 billion in tax and fee cuts in 2011-12 -- slightly below the figure he claimed in his speech. (Scott's office, by the way, claims a total of $4.1 billion over two years, but that number is deceiving because most cuts in the second year of Scott's budget aren't additional cuts; they are just the same cuts rolled over.)
Scott said his budget cuts taxes by $2 billion. But really, the number is about 15 percent high, based on the estimates of his own budget office. We rate this claim Mostly True.