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Tobacco company spent $800K lobbying Legislature  

Jump to full article: The Florida Independent, 2012-02-17
Author: Ashley Lopez

Intro:

Dosal, a Miami-based tobacco company, spent around $800,000 last year to lobby the Florida Legislature, the Associated Press reports. According to the Sun Sentinel, the group spent the third most money last year on lobbying state lawmakers.

During last year’s session, lawmakers tried and failed to levy more taxes on the company. A bill introduced was nearly dead-on-arrival once Gov. Rick Scott made clear he would veto it.

This session, a second attempt to pass a bill that would remove a tax exemption the company has benefited from for over a decade has gained no traction in the Legislature. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Thad Altman, R-Melbourne, so far has no House sponsor. It has been referred to the regulated industries, judiciary, budget and rules committees, but has not been heard.

Dosal was not part of the 1997 Florida Tobacco Settlement Agreement,which made the company exempt from certain taxes other tobacco companies pay. Altman says last year’s and this year’s bill would close “a big tax loophole” for Dosal, which would be a boon for health services in the state.

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