Volume 3, Number 31, July 31, 2006
More than 30 years ago, as a legislator, I was a vocal advocate of eliminating the state intangibles – a tax that unfairly punishes our citizens for saving and investing, and has been a burden shouldered almost entirely by seniors, small-business owners and middle-aged savers. Governor Bush has now signed House Bill 209 into law, abolishing this unreasonable tax.
The repeal of this tax will save 300,000 taxpayers more than $131 million next year alone. This will build on the more than $19 billion in tax relief the governor and Legislature have provided Floridians since 1999.
It is impossible to estimate the number of people or businesses who chose to relocate to a state other than Florida to avoid having their savings taxed. Eliminating the intangibles tax will encourage a new influx of investors, entrepreneurs and retirees, which in turn will result in more investment and more growth in our economy. I applaud him and the Legislature for ending this double-taxation of our citizens.
The Department of Financial Services offers an education program, Your Money, Your life, that Floridians plan and prepare for every financial stage of life, from starting college or starting a family through retirement. For important tips and information on how to grow and safeguard your family’s nest egg, log on to www.yourmoneyyourlife.com.
Nothing is more important than supporting our families, because strong families make for a strong Florida.
-- Tom Gallagher
FAMILIES WILL HAVE MORE INFORMATION TO HELP TRACK
CFO's call for better protections results in improved website
Tom Gallagher, Florida’s chief financial officer, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey today announced that Florida’s families for the first time will have access to information to help them identify sexual predators’ vehicles via the state’s sex offender web site. The nearly 39,000 offenders currently listed on the site have victimized children as well as adults and the elderly. Gallagher suggested the enhanced search feature at a Cabinet meeting last June.
“This enhancement will empower Floridians with greater information about the people who live in their neighborhoods so that our children, our seniors and our loved ones can be informed and protected,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher today also urged FDLE to pursue establishing a system that would allow Floridians, free of charge, to receive a notification when a sexual predator or offender registers an address within a certain distance from their home or other address such as their child’s college apartment or dormitory or a nursing home where a parent is receiving care. Gallagher said he is aware that some private vendors provide a similar service, but often do so for a fee.
“Florida especially shines when it comes to ensuring that information about sexual predators and offenders is readily accessible," said FDLE Commissioner Bailey. "Florida's sexual predator/offender web site typically logs over half a million hits each month. Adding vehicles and vessels to the site is another valuable tool for parents, families and citizens to use to be familiar with registered offenders and predators in their area.”
Of the 39,000 offenders listed on the web site,
currently about 25,000 are still alive and living outside of prison, and
about 18,000 have registered vehicles or vessels, according to FDLE.
BABCOCK RANCH CLOSING
With the closing of Babcock Ranch today, the vision to preserve 74,000 acres has become a reality. The largest single acquisition in Florida’s history, Babcock Ranch provides a crucial piece in the puzzle for providing a natural corridor connecting Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico.
Preservation of this
major natural ecosystem - that otherwise would be developed - is an
important environmental legacy for Florida. Public access for activities
such as hiking, picnicking and bird watching are in the immediate plans with
the state's acquisition. The State of Florida and Lee County joined to
purchase 74,000 acres of Babcock Ranch for $350 million.
"As a member of the Florida Cabinet, I am proud that this treasure will be protected for the benefit of all Floridians," said Tom Gallagher, Florida's chief financial officer.
Bay County man arrested on arson and murder charges
A Bay County man was
arrested Friday night on charges of second degree arson for setting his
truck on fire. Clint Stagg, 32, has also been charged with an open count of
murder in the death of Tanya Farmer in relation to this case. The arrest is
the result of the collaborative efforts of the State Fire Marshal, the Bay
County Sheriff’s office, the Springfield Police Department, the State
Attorney’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Detective
Chris Welch was the agent for the State Fire Marshal’s office on this case.
The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin. Anyone with information about this case or any incident of fire is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON). Information may also be mailed to The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, 2683 Jenks Avenue, Panama City, FL 32405.
INSURANCE AGENT GETS 14-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE FOR
BILKING SENIORS, OTHERS IN ANNUITIES SCAM
Consumer Services HelpLine (800) 342-2762