NOW THAT'S IDEOLOGICAL: Florida's Tea Partiers Oppose Taxes that Businesses Ask to Pay

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The Tea Party has always done a great job ignoring the public benefits that we all receive as a result of paying taxes.  The opposition of some Florida Tea Partiers to a tax the Florida citrus industry would like to impose on itself is perhaps the most obvious example of this yet.

In December of last year, the Florida citrus growing industry took a vote among its members to create the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, which it plans to task with studying HLB, or the “citrus greening disease.”  The disease is apparently a very serious threat to Florida’s citrus crops, with at least one industry spokesman going so far as to call it a “worldwide citrus crisis.”

In order to fund the foundation’s research, the citrus growers had to get the money from somewhere, and decided on an extremely modest 2 cent increase in the tax levied on each 90 pound box of citrus fruit.  Clearly, the industry expects that the cost of this tax will be outweighed by the benefits it hopes to receive in terms of limiting the spread of HLB.

Thankfully, Florida’s heavily Republican legislature didn’t let its “no new taxes” promise get in the way this week when it approved the industry’s decision to tax itself.  But at least one south Florida Tea Party group has come out against the decision, complaining that the state’s anti-tax legislators did not “follow through on their word” to oppose all tax increases.  It seems that even in Florida, sometimes commonsense can trump silly no-tax promises — at least when the Tea Party isn’t calling the shots.

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