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Democrat Charlie Crist Says Florida State Income Tax Is ‘Too High’

  • Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist vowed not to impose a state income tax in Florida.
  • He also said the state’s sales tax was too high. 
  • Crist made the comments during an interview on ABC’s The View. 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist of Florida vowed Friday that he would never impose a state income tax in the Sunshine State and called the state’s sales tax “too high.” 

“You’ll never have a state income tax if Charlie Crist is governor,” Crist said during an appearance on ABC’s The View. Crist will face off on November 8 against Gov. Ron DeSantis, one of the most famous Republicans in the US. 

Crist’s comment about taxes came after The View host Joy Behar asked him whether hoards of people were moving to Florida because of its low taxes. Crist said the state primarily paid its bills through a state sales tax, saying it was “too high,” and through property taxes. 

Florida is one of nine states that doesn’t have a state income tax, and it has a 6% sales tax, with some exceptions. The total sales tax in New York City, where The View is filmed, is 8.875% when combining city and state taxes, though the state tax is 4%.  

Responding to an inquiry from Insider, Crist’s campaign said it didn’t have anything to share at the moment regarding a tax proposal for Florida. In Jacksonville on Wednesday, Crist pledged to lower property insurance rates — an issue he also raised during his appearance on The View. 

Should Crist be elected and move to lower taxes, he could tap into the state’s reserves.

DeSantis has boasted that Florida finished the most recent fiscal year in June with a $22 billion surplus. States all over the country took in far more revenue than they expected during the pandemic, and they have been awash with cash from President Joe Biden’s COVID stimulus, called the American Resue Plan. 

Crist is a former congressman who resigned from Congress on August 31, shortly after winning the Democratic nomination for governor. He was governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011, though he was a Republican at the time. 

Asked about Crist’s comments, the DeSantis campaign slammed Crist’s record as governor and congressman. 

“This is simple: Charlie raised taxes as governor, supported a reckless tax-and-spend agenda in Washington, and even said he’d do it again if given the chance,” DeSantis campaign spokeswoman Lindsey Curnutte told Insider. “Charlie can say what he wants, but Floridians can see right through the bottomless pit of lies.”

When Crist was governor, the GOP-controlled legislature sent him a bill with $2.2 billion in new taxes and fees to plug a budget shortfall, including a tax hike on cigarettes, and fee increases for fishing and auto tags. The DeSantis campaign was also referring to a 2013 MSNBC interview on “The Ed Show” in which Crist said “if necessary” he would raise taxes in the future. Crist was running for governor as a Democrat at the time of the MSNBC interview. 

DeSantis is expected to win re-election in November because registered Republicans in the state outnumber Democrats. The governor is also considered to be a top contender for the White House in 2024, particularly if former President Donald Trump doesn’t run. Crist acknowledged during his interview in The View that he was the underdog in the race. 

DeSantis vowed on August 30 that he’d deliver on “by far the biggest tax cuts in the history of the state of Florida” if reelected. He rolled out the first part of his proposal on Wednesday, saying he wanted the legislature to authorize a 50% decrease in toll costs for commuters. 

In May, DeSantis signed a tax holiday bill into law that included $1.2 billion in tax breaks on a slew of items from diapers to mobile homes. 

DeSantis also signed a bill into law in April to strip Disney World of its special tax status. Democrats have said that taxpayers in Orange and Osceola counties would be forced to pick up the tab to pay for Disney’s bond debt. 

But DeSantis has insisted that Disney would pick up the additional costs and said more legislation is ahead on the matter. The law doesn’t take effect until June 2023, and a study from the Florida Senate said the changes would have an “indeterminate fiscal impact” on local governments. 

The View previously invited DeSantis to appear on its show, but his office turned down the request. Per a screengrab shared on Twitter, press secretary Bryan Griffin said the hosts would be too biased. 

In his response, Griffin listed comments hosts at The View made about DeSantis, including calling him a “bigot and fascist,” as well as a “negligent, homicidal sociopath,” and accusing him of “coming after Black people.” 




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