Taxing Patience On Madison Ave.

A fight over a sales levy

& Florida Governor Bob Martinez thought he had discovered that politician's dream, a painless tax increase. Last April 23 he signed a law that extended the reach of the state's 5% sales tax to cover everything from legal services to pest control to credit collection. The new levies were intended to raise about $700 million a year, including some $100 million from a tax on advertisers, both in state and out. But while the Governor's constituents have greeted the measures with passive acceptance, Martinez has run into a wave of prickly Madison Avenue opposition that has turned the advertising-tax ploy into...