TAMPA — Clearly interested in publicity in the politically crucial Tampa area about a tax cut, Gov. Rick Scott made a second appearance in Tampa in less than a month Wednesday to talk about his proposed cut in vehicle registration fees.
Scott announced the $400 million fee cut, which would lower a typical car registration fee from about $72 to about $47, in a Tampa news conference Dec. 12.
Scott appeared at Brandon Honda dealership Wednesday to talk again about the same tax cut, part of his plan to “give you back more of your money.”
Asked why Scott would visit the same city twice in a month for events on the same subject, spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said it was because, “This is a great dealership -- a job creator, a great local business,” and because Scott had other events planned in the area.
The governor will hold a roundtable discussion, not open to the public or press, at the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce today.
“It’s our priority,” Schutz said. “We’re travelling the state talking about it.”
Brandon Honda is owned by Larry C. Morgan, a substantial Republican political donor who owns a chain of auto dealerships. Morgan and his son, Brett Morgan, together have given $13,000 to Scott’s Let’s Get to Work campaign committee. Larry Morgan has given thousands more to GOP candidates and causes, according to state Division of Elections records.
Both spoke briefly at Scott’s event.
Scott has promised to propose $500 million in tax cuts but declined Wednesday to say where the other $100 million worth will come from.
His proposals will be subject to deliberations of the Florida Legislature, some of whose leaders have already raised questions about whether they can produce a balanced budget including the $500 million in cuts.
But Republicans legislative leaders say they’re in favor of some kind of tax cuts, and some GOP legislators have already proposed undoing all or part of the large, unpopular increases in vehicle registration, driver’s license and other automotive fees enacted by the GOP-led Legislature in 2009 to close that year’s major budget deficit.
“I have an agenda this year – it’s “It’s your money” tax cut agenda,” Scott told a small crowd gathered at the dealership. “People forget that the money that comes to the Capitol, it’s your money. I’m never going to forget this.”
Answering questions from reporters afterward, Scott declined to say where he stands on naming a lieutenant governor to replace Jennifer Carroll, who resigned in March over her ties to a company involved in a charity fraud.
“I’m working very hard to make sure I get the right person,” he said when asked about a lawsuit seeking to force him to name a new lieutenant governor.
Asked where the remaining $100 million of his proposed tax cuts will come from, he said, “I’m working on that. My budget comes out at the end of the month.”