Gov. Rick Scott used an appearance on ABC Action News to fight back against criticism leveled by former Gov. Charlie Crist that Scott is increasing property taxes on Floridians.
Now that the 2014 legislative session is over, Scott is focusing on his re-election. One theme we'll be hearing a lot about is the $500 million in tax cuts Scott and the Legislature are making this year which includes $400 million in motor vehicle registration fees that were raised under then Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who is seeking his old job as a Democrat.
Crist, campaigning in south Florida recently, said that the budget that passed Friday will force local governments to raise property taxes by $400 million to pay for schools.
Gov. Scott counters that the reason tax revenues are up is simply because the economy is improving, home values are up and more people are paying taxes.
"He (Crist) doesn't understand the concept. When property values go up, property tax revenues go up. So what's happening in our state is sales tax revue is up and property tax revenues are up. So what you do is you can make investments. So we have record funding for K-12, record funding for state colleges, record funding for universities, record funding for transportation. Don't you want your house to go up in value? Don't you want more people to move to our state so our sales tax revenues go up? That's what's happening," Scott said.
He also criticized Crist for signing a bill into law that allows the state Board of Governors to approve tuition hikes up to 15 percent a year. "Charlie Crist allowed tuition cost to go up fifteen percent a year. How many people in our state have their income go up fifteen percent a year? So we stopped that."