Gentlemen, start your engines. Gov. Rick Scott is taking a celebratory victory lap around Florida this week, taking credit for a $25 cut in auto tag fees that legislators approved and he signed into law, all the while hammering the record of Charlie Crist, his likely Democratic rival.
On Monday, Scott launched his “Help Is on the Way” tour at a Volkswagen dealership near Jacksonville. Today, Scott will make a stop at Brandon Honda.
It’s hard to think of a more appropriate place for Scott to make his re-election pitch than a car lot. It’s the home of the hard sell, where salesmen have been known to skip over what’s in the fine print.
For starters, Scott and the Legislature did not “cut taxes” as he claims. They cut the cost of annual fees that went way up under then-Republican Gov. Crist and the GOP-dominated Legislature in 2009. When it suits them, politicians make distinctions between taxes and fees, or lump them together.
And when Scott calls it “Charlie Crist’s vehicle registration tax,” he ignores the fact that the idea came from the Legislature and that most Republican lawmakers voted for the increases, including Scott’s lieutenant governor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who was in the House in 2009.