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Latest Taxpayer's Tab: FL Special Election & The Belly-Button Tax

Michael Tasselmyer
March 2, 2014

Tab Insert

Congressman Bill Young passed away last year, meaning that Floridians will have to elect a new Representative on March 11 to finish his term in the House. The three candidates -- David Jolly (R), Lucas Overby (L), and Alex Sink (D) -- have made a lot of promises as they vie for the open seat, but what do their proposals mean for taxpayers?

That's what NTUF's Research and Outreach Manager, Dan Barrett, tried to find out in the report featured in this week's edition of The Taxpayer's Tab. NTUF sifted line-by-line through each candidate's campaign speeches, websites, and debate transcripts to compile a list of proposals they're running on and that could affect the budget, then compared those promises to current or proposed legislation in our BillTally database to come up with each politician's net spending agenda. While no candidate offered much in the way of details, NTUF was able to score some of the proposals and figure out how much each of their agendas could cost:

  • David Jolly: -$60.04 billion
  • Lucas Overby: $191 million
  • Alex Sink: $20.391 billion

Links to a summary as well as the full report are in the Tab's online edition.

Also featured this week:

  • Most Expensive: Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) introduced S. 1086. The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act would reauthorize the eponymous federal program at $1.6 billion above current levels over the next five years.
  • Least Expensive: The "Belly-Button Tax" is a provision within the Affordable Care Act that charges certain group health plans a fee over the next three years in order to stabilize premiums in plans covering higher-risk enrollees. Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) introduced H.R. 3489 in order to repeal that provision and replace it with appropriations $5 billion below current funding.
  • Wildcard: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are well-known for their rum production. What many don't know is that the government reimburses them for some of the taxes they pay to ship it to the 50 States, through what's known as a "cover over." The rate at which it does so recently fell, so Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR) introduced H.R. 3967 to restore the cover over rate to its higher previous levels. The bill is a revenue-only provision and is therefore not counted as a "cost" in the BillTally methodology.

For more, check out The Taxpayer's Tab online.


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