As Warren Buffett has helpfully pointed out, lucrative tax deductions are just one more way the rich are different from you and me.
Which is as good an excuse as any during this runup to April 14 to revisit tiny little footnotes to Gov. Rick Scott’s own tax returns from years past.
They are fascinating reading not only for the details of where Scott money was invested, but in the unexpected details of where it wasn’t.
In several states, tax filing paperwork includes an option to get a deduction by contributing to very specific charities.
Very specific animal charities.
Rick and Ann Scott passed on contributing to critters of all kinds: The Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund, the California Sea Otter Fund, the Colorado Endangered Nongame and Wildlife Fund, the Kentucky Nature and Wildlife Fund, the Kentucky Wild Resource Conservation Fund, the Texas Wild Resource Conservation Fund, the Massachusetts Endangered Wildlife Conservation Fund.
Small potatoes, perhaps, but spinmeisters tending to the governor’s image might have put a bit of on-the-record puppy love to good use: After delighting animal lovers in 2010 by adopting a rescue dog, Scott promptly infuriated animal lovers by giving the retriever back after he won election. The dog — Reagan — is reported to have barked too much.
It should be pointed out that Ann and Rick Scott’s dizzying array of trusts could be supporting a small country and we would not necessarily know it. And we do know the Scotts have given to the Red Cross, Hope for Haiti, the Naples Zoo and the George W. Bush Foundation, among other nonprofits. And they have their own foundation, which may be giving generously to the flora and fauna of the world.
Besides, Scott has larger financial criticisms. Specifically, there are the nagging questions surrounding the blind trust where Scott parked his assets after getting into office, an issue that the -ahem- Florida Bulldog has been chewing over since last year: http://www.floridabulldog.org/2014/03/gov-scott-quietly-rakes-in-millions-from-stock-sales-blind-trust-like-a-removable-blindfold