The Florida Department of Citrus on Wednesday abandoned efforts to reform state citrus taxes this year after leaders at Florida Citrus Mutual, the state`s largest growers group, called for a delay. Ken Keck, the department`s executive director, said the long-shot effort at getting tax reform this year hinged on an endorsement from Citrus Mutual. `Absolutely. Mutual`s support was definitely a condition on whether we would move forward or did not move forward,` during the 2008 legislative session, scheduled to end on May 2.
The Florida Citrus Commission, the department`s governing body, had not raised the issue of tax reform until its March 19 meeting. The commission put the proposal on a fast track but was unable to resolve questions about how the new tax would work at special teleconference meetings on March 27 and April 3. At that last meeting, commissioners agreed the controversial proposal must have Citrus Mutual`s support to have any chance of passage in the final weeks of the session.