Panhandle Projects on the "Turkey" Watch List


Florida TaxWatch has identified 107 so-called budget "turkeys" in the proposed state budget, totaling $107 million. TaxWatch is asking the governor to veto all of the turkeys.
One of the most expensive projects is slated for Bay County.
The proposed $14 million science and technology building at Gulf Coast State College made the 2013 turkey watch list.
State Representative Jimmy Patronis is defending the STEM building appropriation.
"It is their number one priority building to replace,” said Patronis. “The college building has been talked about by a public appointed group of trustees, appointed by the governor."
Two other Bay County appropriations also made the list.
Lawmakers earmarked $610,000 for the Bay County Health Department's "Baycare Project", and $500,000 for the Crosswind Runway Project at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, both were added in conference.
TaxWatch is not saying all of the projects are not worth of funding, the organization just does not believe they all received the amount of time and debate necessary to make an educated decision.
Again, Patronis disagrees.
"We stay on top of it because we represent these areas, TaxWatch doesn't."
Governor Rick Scott has until next Friday to sign the state's record-setting $74 billion budget.
TaxWatch is encouraging him to veto the 107 turkeys.
"The state is generating revenue off a consumer and sales tax,” said Patronis. “That sales tax revenue is higher than expected. It gives the opportunity for the legislature to send those dollars back to the taxpayers and enhance infrastructure, schools and healthcare."
Some of the other local items on the turkeys list include:
-Renovations on the Liberty County Hospital
-The Historic Calhoun County Courthouse
-Jackson County High School
-Mobile dental and medical units for the Okaloosa County Health Department.
-New Sheriff's Office in Liberty County.
-Funding for a park in Hosford and the Cape San Blas Lighthouse.


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