In what he called an “important clarification” to a SaveCitrus statement, CRDF’s Rick Dantzler urged growers to save the mechanism that assesses the ‘box tax’ which funds Dantzler’s operation.
Dantzler’s statement appeared in Citrus Industry on May 25, two days after SaveCitrus announced an effort to encourage growers to vote against the tax assessment mechanism in an ongoing referendum.
Dantzler did not mention SaveCitrus by name.
The referendum is on whether to continue a Citrus Research Order, the taxation assessment mechanism. Ballots from Florida citrus growers are due no later than June 3. Florida growers may download the ballot here.
Dantzler urged growers to keep the mechanism in place. “When deciding how you vote on whether to continue the mechanism for self-assessment, if you are frustrated with CRDF, please try to separate that from the wisdom of having the self-assessment in place,” Dantzler said in a statement to Citrus Industry.
“An industry having a means for assessing itself to address research needs is a tremendous asset. It precludes you from having to depend on the government for funding,” Dantzler said. “And when you must go to the government for funding, it makes a huge difference with legislators and members of Congress that the industry is putting up funding. It shows our industry has skin in the game. If you eliminate the mechanism, what is the realistic possibility that it or anything like it would ever be approved again? Probably not great.”