Deadline Nears to File Against BP for Lost Tax Revenues

Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
TAMPA (2011-4-11) -

Gov. Rick Scott and a BP executive announced Monday that seven Florida Panhandle counties will receive $30 million for tourism advertising and marketing over the next three years.

The region’s tourism industry is still trying to recover from last year’s BP oil spill. At that joint press conference, the governor pledged to hold BP accountable for all economic damages.

But, Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor is concerned Gov. Scott will miss a key deadline to file for damages against BP. It’s been almost a year since an explosion ripped through the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform on April 20, 2010.

The federal court overseeing litigation against companies involved in the explosion and oil spill established April 20, 2011 as the deadline to file for damages.

The State of Florida has not yet submitted a claim against BP for lost tax revenue. Castor has written the governor twice asking about the state’s plans to recover lost revenues.

“The State of Louisiana has already filed a claim,” Castor said, adding that Gov. Scott has not responded to her letters or conversations asking about BP damages. She said it’s a critical time with the budget deficit and said the state should try to recoup sales tax money not collected because tourists stayed away due to the oil spill.

“Gov. Scott needs to act in a transparent fashion when it comes to what he intends to do in filing a claim against BP,” Castor said. “It’s terrific we get $30 million for marketing, but the damages to the state are much more extensive.”

A press release from the governor’s office stated that BP has contributed a total of $82 million to Florida tourism, marketing and seafood testing. Gov. Scott’s office has not responded to a request for comment on this story.

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