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Gelber questions Rubio's "trickle down economics"

House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber on Tuesday afternoon openly questioned the economic impacts of the ambitious plan by House Republicans to overhaul Florida's property tax system. House Speaker Marco Rubio has trumpeted the plan _ which could replace some property taxes with a 2.5 cents hike in the sales tax _ as a way to put billions back into people's pockets.

But jumping on Rubio's assertion a day earlier that the working class live off the "leftover money" of others, Gelber told members of the Miami Herald editorial board that he thought that "trickle down economics" had pretty much been shown not to work. He said he questioned the wisdom of giving a huge tax break to the likes of conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh _ who last year paid more than $429,000 in property taxes on his $35 million home in Palm Beach County. Gelber said he didn't believe Limbaugh would turn around and send all that money back into the economy.

"We are relying on Rush Limbaugh to hire a lot more people to work around the house,'' Gelber said.

But Rubio _ who also met Thursday with the Miami Herald _ contended that "the status quo is hurting" all types of people, including people who can't afford to buy their home and are currently renting. He insisted getting rid of property taxes for homestead property and forcing local governments to lower spending will help everyone. "Just because you don't get the bill doesn't mean you aren't getting charged,'' said Rubio.

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