By Chris Ingram
The Tampa Tribune
Published Saturday, December 28, 2012
The state of Florida recently “forgave” $142.2 million in taxes, fines and overpaid benefits for the third year in a row. The previous two years, the state wrote off $110.5 million and $109 million. I wasn’t ever really good at math, but I can add 142, plus 110, plus 109 and realize that’s more than $350 million the state failed to collect.
What I lack in math skills, I make up for in knowing how government works. It works like this: Every time the state fails to collect money it is owed, somebody else has to make up the difference.
That’s you and me, folks. It works out to be about 19 bucks a person for every resident of the state — that is, if the state could collect it.
To make matters worse, the list of who were forgiven is not available to the public. The explanation for the list being a secret only makes sense to people within 500 yards of the state capital.
Recipients of the state’s forgiveness include individuals who didn’t pay their taxes, businesses that collected — but didn’t pay — sales taxes, unemployment taxes or corporate income taxes. These tax dodgers were forgiven a total of $37 million. They also include individuals who received jobless benefits but were overpaid by the state to the tune of $30.7 million. It was also reported that the Agency for Health Care Administration waived $14 million the state overpaid to more than 100 health care providers.
No doubt, some bureaucrat in Tallahassee can justify the write-off. You can imagine him or her saying, “It’s just .001 percent of the state’s $70 billion budget,” while seated in a leather chair in a nicely appointed office while gazing out the window from an ivory tower in Tallahassee, after tiring of checking their Facebook account.
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Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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