TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In a public reversal, Gov. Bob Martinez today called for repeal of Florida's unpopular services tax, saying he had made a mistake that cost him the confidence of the people of Florida.
Martinez, who helped push the measure through the state Legislature this year, said he had made a mistake by backing the levy before tackling budget reform.
The Republican governor's popularity plummeted in polls after he and the Democratic-controlled Legislature pushed the billion-dollar services tax into law.
The 5% sales tax on services such as advertising, professional fees, lawn maintenance and pest control was expected to raise about $745 million this year and $1.2 billion in the second year.
'Cart Before Horse'
"I put the cart before the horse and when I did, I made a mistake," said Martinez. "That mistake has cost me the confidence of the people of Florida. More importantly, it has severely da1835100005government."