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Ads promoting the state of Florida usually feature white-sand beaches, emerald golf courses, and crystal-blue waters.
But now the state’s Republican governor is trying a new pitch, telling Massachusetts business owners to move to Florida and escape the taxes here.
The governor, Rick Scott, mailed letters this week to 100 business leaders in Massachusetts urging them to “book a one-way ticket to Florida,” now that the Commonwealth has approved higher taxes on gasoline and computer services.
“Florida’s economic formula is working – while Florida’s unemployment rate has seen the second largest drop in the country, Massachusetts’ June unemployment rate increased to the highest since November 2011,” Scott writes in the letter, a copy of which is posted on his website. “While Florida ranks fifth in the nation for our business tax climate, Massachusetts is stuck at number 22, according to the Tax Foundation. It’s bound to get worse in Massachusetts, as just last week we saw them raise taxes on gasoline and even computer services.”
Scott’s letter prompted a tart response from Governor Deval Patrick’s economic development secretary, Gregory Bialecki, who argued that Massachusetts has recovered faster and stronger from the recession than the rest of country.