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The Conservation and Reinvestment Act, HR701-S25 (CARA) will divert $3 billion per year in Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil & gas revenues from the federal treasury to an off-budget trust fund. This huge trust fund would be automatically available for spending on CARA projects without the checks and balances of annual Congressional appropriations. These OCS funds are currently used for general fund purposes such as shoring up Social Security and Medicare and paying down the national debt. Replacement of these funds will have to come from somewhere else: either by increasing taxes, reducing services, or increasing the national debt burden on future generations. OCS revenue diverted by CARA has a resulting cost to each Stateās citizens as higher taxes or services lost. This loss is an offset to any claimed CARA benefit.
CARA also requires that states provide separate matching funds for many CARA pork distributions! To come up with this additional money, states are going to have to raise taxes or cancel and reduce other current services.
Additional impacts will result from loss of property tax and other revenue when private lands are transferred to governmental agencies. This affects the level of school funding, road maintenance and other governmental services provided by counties and cities.
Floridians are told they get $141 million per year out of CARA. But not a word is said about the $158 million pocket-picking they are taking as their federal tax obligations go up (their make-up share of the $3 billion in OCS revenues that stop flowing into the federal treasury). In addition, their state and local taxes have to go up $32 million to pay the mandated CARA matching funds!
$16 million would be saved if the Florida legislature would just÷on its own÷raise state taxes by the CARA $141 million and spend it exactly according to Floridaās own priorities and needs rather than those of federal bureaucrats!
Florida loses $1.10 per person, per year from CARA. So who makes out like bandits from CARA? Alaska! Alaska gains an incredible $256 per person per year from CARA. And guess who is sponsoring the bill - big surprise, a congressman and senator from Alaska!
Senators Graham and Mack would perform a great service for Floridians by filibustering the CARA rip-off.
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