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Haridopolos: Scott's corporate tax cut is dead

Gov. Rick Scott continues to emphasize the need for a cut in the state's 5.5 percent corporate income tax -- as he did on Fox & Friends Sunday morning. But Senate President Mike Haridopolos, in his most definitive comments to date, says it won't happen this year.

"As I've talked to so many members and more importantly, business leaders across the state, they feel that stability is more important than reducing a 5.5-percent corporate tax rate," Haridopolos said Sunday. "My stance has been and will continue to be that the most important thing is to show budget discipline by spending less."

The Senate leader, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate, said the final budget now rounding into shape in late-session negotiations in the Capitol will include between $50-million and $100-million in tax and fee cuts, "but it won't be on the corporate side."

Haridopolos said he and Scott have discussed creating a new forumula for cutting the corporate income tax cut based on a gradual phase-out of the tax as state revenues increase in future years. But the senator said the issue will have to wait until the 2012 session. Scott has suggested he might veto the entire $67-billion state budget if they don't include tax cuts that he repeatedly promised voters on the campaign trail last fall. 

-- Steve Bousquet