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Crist the campaigner stretches tax-cut truth

Gov. Charlie Crist is in Miami today on a two-day statewide flyaround ''campaign like the dickens'' for a new property-tax plan that was roundly trashed -- yet still passed -- by the Florida Legislature.

Like any seasoned campaigner, Crist is reaching out to potential opponents, like the teachers' unions. And he's staging press events with citizen taxpayers, while exaggerating the plan's scope and effect.

''This is going to fire up Florida's economy,'' Crist said in Tallahasee. He said that ''portability'' will free people ''trapped in their homes'' by the fear of buying a high-tax house, but doesn't mention that many people say the high sales cost of homes is the primary reason for staying put.

Those who plan to stay put would save an average of $220 when their homestead $25,000 homestead exemption is increased. Crist said the plan to ''double'' the exemption is ``very clear. Very straightforward.''

It isn't. The plan doesn't double the homestead exemption for anyone. And he touts the tax plan's five-year statewide savings of $12 billion -- though legislative analysts say that number is unreliable and possibly too high.

Story here.